Thursday, May 22, 2008

Big service from small retail

Bought a cosmetic product from a local store in Mumbai . When I reached home and removed the shrink packaging and opened the bottle I found something near the lid . The following day I went back to the store and showed it to the store owner . He took it back and gave me a refund since he did not have another product in the size I wanted . All of this happened in a matter of minutes . No negotiation. I did not even have the bill .
If the purchase had been made at a fancy department store this would have been a tiresome interaction with no guarantee on whether the store would be willing to take it back .
We see this in our business as well . The smaller , entrepreneurial suppliers tend to be very responsive on service . The larger organisations run around in circles trying to accomplish basic things . Their ability to handle deviations or unusual situations is quite poor .
There's a lot of debate in India on big retail v/s small retail and the need to protect small retailers. If small retailers were to diminish in number the greatest loss will be that of the consumer.