The shops around the corner

OLD-WORLD CHARM

Despite the rapid growth of chain stores in the City, the simple general stores are still quite popular. Though there is a considerable difference in the rates of items sold in both places, people opt for either depending on the time they have.

The youth of today is conscious about where it spends its money. Namitha Gopal, a writer, feels that the items available at a store like Health & Glow are of a much better quality. “They have more variety compared to a normal ladies’ store and their items are unique,” says Namitha. She agrees that a hair clip might cost just Rs 20 at a ladies’ store and around Rs 50 or more at chain store. But she would rather pay a few extra bucks for something which lasts longer.

There are others who find shopping at chain stores more convenient. “I usually never go shopping just for accessories. I might be shopping for toiletries and other products when a bracelet catches my eye. Thus it’s like a one-stop shop for everything,” lists out Merin M, an associate consultant. Merin adds that though she is not a brand-conscious person, she doesn’t have a problem paying a bit more for convenience.

Others, like Akanksha S, feel that the joy of going to a bangle or ladies’ store is unmatched. They also enjoy pulling out different things and selecting a handful. “I love going to bangle stores and ladies’ stores as one can always find different options and get more colour-specific items,” shares Akanksha. She feels that this way, she can also spend quality time with her friends. “Also, when you are buying things from a small store in bulk, you can bargain and get a good deal,” she says.  

Ankitha, an undergraduate student of Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women, prefers going to branded stores for beauty and other wellness products. “But when it comes to fashion, I would happily mix accessories costing Rs 10 onwards with any costume. It’s all about being trendy at the end of the day,” says Ankitha.

Shopkeepers believe that chain stores haven’t affected their business. Mustafa, a bangle shop owner in Shivajinagar, says that since he sources items which are in trend at his store, he always has regular customers. “Also, we provide matching colours for a specific outfit. Not every store has that,” says Mustafa.

Gopalan Mukundan, who owns a ladies’ store on Avenue Road, says that local shops always get their share of business. “People would rather buy things from a place close by unless they have a big shopping list and plan to shop extensively
in some other area,” he
wraps up.

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