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How Local Grocery Stores Can Challenge Subhiksha or Reliance Fresh Retail

The local “subziwala” and the bania or the “kirana wala bhaiya” in India are a troubled lot today – thanks to entry of giants like FoodWorld, Big Bazaars, Subhiksha stores and Reliance Retail Fresh.

These superstores sell groceries and food items “relatively” cheap since they buy in bulk and have their own, very efficient, supply chain infrastructure.

Is it the end of the local family-run retails stores in Indian cities and towns ? Not so if they adapt to the changing time.

This WSJ story offers a hint: Instead of the rows of aisles with commonplace brands, they are adding tables providing ingredients for planned meals, luring the kind of customer who shops for dinner instead of stocking up on groceries once a week.

After years of decline brought on by fighting Wal-Mart Stores on price, the nation’s grocery chains are on the mend.

The supermarkets are winning back shoppers by sharpening their differences with Wal-Mart’s price-obsessed supercenters, stressing less-hectic stores with exotic or difficult-to-match products and greater convenience.

Many of the chains are still learning to sidestep Wal-Mart. They are cutting back on drugs and health and beauty products, which are Wal-Mart strengths, to stress fresh produce, higher-quality meat and easy-to-prepare foods.

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