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    Reaping the fruits in food retailing


    Contrary to the belief that the march of modern food and grocery retail may spell the doom for the retailer (read ‘sabjiwala’), in reality, the fruits of organised retail seem likely to be reaped by all stakeholders, including the fruit and vegetable seller.

    Dr. Ashok, Gulati, director, Asia, (IFPRI) has pointed out in the India Retail Report 2009, “As the share of organized food and grocery retail increases, the unorganised segment will generate enough opportunites to enable mainstream participation and this may happen through franchisee, branding of pushcart vendors and the like”.

    Besides the traditional retailer, the consumer too stands to gain in hard money terms from the phenomenon of organized retail. A recent IFPRI study has shown that the prices of vegetables were 33 per cent cheaper in organized outlets as compared to traditional outlets. Similarly the prices of fruits were found to be 15 per cent cheaper in organised outlets.

    Appreciating those who have floated the concept of branding the pushcarts and calling it ‘revolutionary’, Dr Gulati feels that this has the potential of providing gainful employment on a large scale.

    Organised retail is not just big box malls in India but also discount and neighbourhood stores, which are very competitive amongst themselves, points out Dr. Gulati. The consumers of various income groups benefit the most in terms of fair price and better quality from the phenomenon of organised food and grocery retail, says Dr Gulati.