The frequent (and usually negative-themed) coverage of the fortunes of most organised retailers has left most wondering as to what really went wrong for most retailers.
While I am sure most consultants are making money coz the answers are still unknown, I think the concept of retail outlets in residential areas needs a special focus.
Coz I am just witnessing the closure of a More store in our neighbourhood and there are multiple reasons that come to my mind
– Will the customer walk or drive down to the store? In this locality, its the latter & the store has almost no parking space.
– Is it open late into the night? No. Are the customers looking for some store at that hour- a few almost every night
– Is it better than the regular guy you have been buying groceries from? Not really coz his store is not a big one with lot of aisle space. Also the regular kirana guy is so trustworthy we just drop in the list & he sends the stuff (best masalas if you ask most housewives).
– Does the manager know the locals in the neighbourhood. No. A big negative as he cannot build a relationship beyond the polite greetings.
So if you expect the customer to get out of the house, get into a car & spend next 20 mins buying groceries you better provide her with an experience that feels like time-well-spent.
In the absence of all this, the store IMHO, had to make do with only the last minute emergency kind of purchases. The No-ketchup-for-the-snacks purchases.