Malls draw crowds in city

Attraction

Bee line: The shoppers make a queue to bill the goods they purchased at one of the reputed malls in Mysore. Dh Photo by Anurag Basavaraj Food, shopping and entertainment — all under one roof. And ample space for parking vehicles. The concept is new to Mysore. But it is picking up fast.Malls and supermarkets are a big challenge for neighbourhood shops.

Some are finding it difficult to face the competition, while some are taking steps to retain their customers and also to attract new customers.

 It is almost three years since Big Bazaar, a supermarket chain, opened shop in the city. It is operating on Jhansi Lakshmi Bai road near Ramaswamy circle — causing frequent traffic snarls, a rare scene in Mysore. Easy Day near B M Hospital in Jayalakshmipuram is also a big attraction for the past one year.

It would soon have a multiplex with four screens. More, another supermarket chain, also has a sizeable presence in the city, while Food Bazar is operating on Devaraja Urs road.

Many more

supermarkets and malls are under construction. By next year people of Mysore would have multiple options.    
 
The Radisson Hotel group, which is opening its Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in Mysore soon, has also planned the Mall of Mysore on MG Road. The Mall of Mysore takes its shades of royalty from the Mysore Palace and blends itself with state-of-the-art facilities.

Even as the mall being promoted by the Bangalore based Garuda Mall near K R Circle is under construction in collaboration with the Mysore City Corporation, plenty of commercial space is available at the KSRTC bus stand.

There are several other huge private buildings like the Brigade Point in Gokulam, which can be converted into malls.

Mysore has always been a cosmopolitan city -- since it has been the seat of power, learning and art and culture for a long time.

Now it has become even more cosmopolitan with the advent of computers and information technology. There is vibrancy among the citizens and most of them have disposable incomes.

Before independence, the economy of Mysore solely depended on administration. Most of the jobs were related to the palace and its activities. Otherwise it was pure farming in and around the city.After independence the economy revolved around tourism and educational institutions.

Now it is all this put together as tourism is dependent on the palace. And the advent of IT has given a boost to all this. Priyanka Prasad, a MBA student studying in SDM IMD, who was spotted in a supermarket, said her family was a regular there. She said she was there to shop for monthly groceries with her mother.

Priyanka says variety, independence to chose and price factor was driving them to shop there. She said even though there was a local supermarket in her area – Kuvempunagar – it did not have the kind of variety offered by the big chain of supermarkets. Latha, Kshama, Kusuma and Pallavi – all BBM students of JSS Women’s College, Saraswathipuram, who were spotted in a supermarket – said theyloved shopping and they frequented the place even on college days, during a break. Latha said she liked the food court in the supermarket and also shopped for ladies tops and cosmetics.

Kshama said there was a wide range of products to choose from and the price was reasonable. Kusuma said it was a good time-pass and there were gift coupons to be won for trying some samples at times. Pallavi said expert opinion was available regarding use of cosmetics depending the health and problems of their skin.

Ameena Kalekhan, secretary of Suvarna Ladies Club, who was shopping with her entire family said she was satisfied with the attention being paid to customers in the supermarket. She said, a visit to a supermarket or a mall saves a lot of time as everything was available under one roof.

However, Anitha, a housewife, who was with her family members in a supermarket to crosscheck the price of a computer table for her son said supermarkets and malls were for those with disposable incomes.

Narrating her experience, she said the computer table she had selected in a shop outside had been offered for Rs 2,200 while she  found the same kind of table priced at Rs 3,299 at the supermarket. And it was the offer price for the festival season. Anitha said some of the products in supermarket were priced reasonably but if one was not cautious, one would lose one’s hard earned money.

Narasimha Holla, who owns a grocery shop in Nanjumalige, said even though people go to supermarkets and malls for monthly and festival shopping, they depend upon neighbourhood shops for urgent needs. Holla agreed that he had lost a chunk of his business to supermarkets, but he said some of his customers had also returned to his shop after some time as there was no personalised customer relationship in supermarkets.

He said even he offered discounts on products on which he got good margin. “I sell edible oil almost Rs 20 less than the MRP. But big players offer more discounts on bulk sales. They offer almost Rs 25 discount on purchase of three or five litres of oil. They have an advantage as the magnitude of their business is huge,” he added.

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