I visited the Reliance Fresh outlet on the very first day, the stores were crowded even then. The stores lived up to the hype and expectation, while most vegetables were priced Rs 2-5 per kg less than the neighbourhood vegetable vendor, there was little difference in the prices of packaged foods and imported fruits. As the days passed and word of mouth spread the stores have become only more crowded as people deserted the neighbourhood vendors for a Fresh retail Experience. The outlets were over-staffed with helpful, smiling and uniformed employees who offered a full 'Vanakkam' at the check-out counter. The stores even have a customer service desk! These are things you don't see at your neighbourhood vegetable vendor or for that matter even up-market supermarkets.
As if the cheaper price and the ambiance were not enough to hold on to the customers Reliance even has a loyalty programme to make sure people keep thronging it's stores. Also, you may have to pay for the Coriander and Curry Leaves that came free at your neighbourhood vegetable vendor, but then, nothing in life is free is it?
Last week, traders of Kotthaval Chavadi Vegetable Market protested that since the opening of Reliance Fresh outlets (about 5 weeks) their business was down by 40%! I guess that's a testimony to the prices at the outlets. Of course there's a downside, traders and middle men will get affected, but, I don't believe in Communism.
If someone is suffering can opportunistic Politicians be far behind? Now the PMK has started making loud noises, PMK is asking Reliance to quit TN and the vegetable market itself!
Remember the Rs.8 phone calls on your Mobile phone? Most of us never even had a Mobile phone then... And then, out of the blue came Reliance offering calls for as low as 40p, ushering in the Mobile phone revolution. Let's hope Mr.Ambani and Reliance do to the Retail market what they did to the Mobile phone market!
If you're looking for the addresses of the all the Reliance Fresh outlets in Chennai City, check out the post I made @ Chennaiist.
And, for all those people who are leaving comments on Chennaiist about supplying vegetables and becoming franchisees even after I've posted their contact info:
- I'm in no way connected to reliance, so gimme a break.
- Unlike in Chennaiist: Don't expect me to publish your comments or be polite.
- In my opinion, It's unlikely that Reliance will select Morons like you, who can't even read a page of English and pick out their contact info given in bold letters.
Also Published in Nandanam News