Big Bazaar at Chennai

Big Bazaar, Chennai

After creating waves in other cities, Big Bazaar is here in Chennai at Vadapalani very close to the Saligramam Signal.

Big Bazaar, the value retailing concept of Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd and a part of the Future Group, has come to Chennai.

Big Bazaar, Chennai

The Rs 15 crore store is being operated by Anandram Developers Pvt Ltd, agents of Pantaloon Retail (I) Ltd, and is one of the largest stand-alone stores in the city.

Promising that nobody sells cheaper and better, the Big Bazaar store, which is located on 45-47, Arcot Road, Saligramam (Near Bharani Hospital), Chennai – 600 093, has an area of over 50,000 sq ft on the ground floor itself, and offers special discounts and offers of up to 60 per cent on more than 1,60,000 products 365 days a year.

Big Bazaar,Chennai

Some of the median advertisements for Big Bazaar runs as below :

Paal Vilayile Payasam (Payasam at the cost of Milk)
More Vilayile Milkshake(Milkshake at the cost of Buttermilk)
Scooter Vilayile Car ( Car at the cost of Scooter)

When I visited the store last Sunday there was huge crowd shoping for Pongal. I found everything available in the shop from Chappals to Refrigerators. Discount schemes are on for various products. Discount schemes were like a discount of Rs 100/- to Rs 150 on a shirt costing Rs 699/-. One shirt comes with one shirt costing Rs 499/-. At the billing counter, for each shirt bought they were giving free sugar at the rate of 1kg of sugar for each shirt bought.

I found an interesting argument going on between a customer and the person in the billing counter. The customer was eligible to get 5 kgs of sugar on his purchases. The customer declined to accept the sugar saying that he stays in a Room and has no use for the sugar.

The shop has huge parking space for cars and two wheelers. I had to go to Big Bazaar this morning again with my daughter. I found that the Parking Fee they collect is reduced from the Bill amount.

Big Bazaar, Chennai

I remember having read Kishore Biyani’s interview in ET some time back that the concept of their retail initiative is based on Saravana Stores business model.

In Delhi I saw Big Bazaar in a Delhi Metro Station near Rohini. With huge space available at MRTS stations, retail shops like Big Bazaar could think of approaching the Railways for space for their ventures.

Chennai Retail scene is hotting up with entry of Big Bazaar with names like Reliance Retail and Bharti / Walmart etc., to follow.

27 Comments so far

  1. Etesh Hariraj (unregistered) on January 14th, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

    The pace of Chennai Retail progressing forward is no where near the pace of its sister city Bangalore.There is a long way to go to catch up.There are like 5 BIG BAZAARS IN Bangalore.Just one opened and just recently in Chennai.There are soo many Food Bazaars too in Bangalore.Chennai could easily do with atleast 10-12.Chennai still does’nt have a single Lifestyle Max Store,Pantaloon’s Brand factory,Metro Cash and Carry.All these amazing formats are already there in Bangalore. Chennai is just keeping pace or else it would be left far behind.Chennai orgainised retail malls industry is the slowest to progress forward among all metros in India


  2. John Adams (unregistered) on January 14th, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

    The pace of Chennai Retail progressing forward is no where near the pace of its sister city Bangalore.There is a long way to go to catch up.There are like 5 BIG BAZAARS IN Bangalore.Just one opened and just recently in Chennai.There are soo many Food Bazaars too in Bangalore.Chennai could easily do with atleast 10-12.Chennai still does’nt have a single Lifestyle Max Store,Pantaloon’s Brand factory,Metro Cash and Carry.All these amazing formats are already there in Bangalore. Chennai is just keeping pace or else it would be left far behind.Chennai orgainised retail malls industry is the slowest to progress forward among all metros in India


  3. Bharath (unregistered) on January 14th, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

    well, i was pro-fdi in retail sector a while back.. i mean the customer would be king and we would get good products at excellent prices. however after seeing the devastating impact that these mega-stores have on the small ‘mom & pop’ stores (as they are called in the US) i have changed my mind. in our selfish need to shop at lower prices we are paving the downfall of the smaller stores. walmart is considered evil in the us and some cities dont even allow walmart to set up shop within their limits. one interesting aspect is that walmart grew in the opposite direction – capturing the rural, small town markets before storming the big cities. i am not a communist, nor am i related to any one who runs a store. but the onslaught of supermarkets has itself taken a toll on the ‘nadar kadais’ in fact at the store in my colony, they rearranged the shop according to vaasthu to improve sales. i wonder if they (and the supermarkets,too) will be able to survive the hypermarkets.


  4. I P (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 7:22 am

    Bharath,
    That is not true. All these Indian “mom and pop” stores are no where near the quality of the big stores(or the American mom and pop stores). First they try to employ children paying them paltry amounts. They dont even increase their salary. These big stores will change that. People who work in these big stores can actually make a decent living than if they worked in nadar kadai.


  5. Ganesh (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 8:14 am

    Big formats and huge retail stores would have their own markets in the growing economy. But unlike U.S it will not close the neighbourhood small stores. The indian style of purchasing is different, public infrastucture, commuting, no of visits to the store per month are quite different. so the small shops survive.


  6. Bharath (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 8:47 am

    I P,
    the american ‘mom & pop’ stores are no different in quality compared to the Indian ones. they are essentially family rum stores that operate on low volumes, often serving small communities. agreed that the nadar kadais employ children but these kids are usually the owner’s son/newphew (at least from what i’ve seen). yes they do employ other children too and possibly exploit them also, but i really dont think that these mega stores would be able to absorb them. worse it would put the families running the stores out of business.

    we should understand that retailing in india is different from the us. the concept of ‘max. retail price’ does not exist in the US. each store can fix its own price – so they offer a few products at competitive prices and markup others. in india, until recently it was impossible to find anything lower than mrp, but stores like subhiksha were able to pull this off. the mega stores, by virtue of their business volumes can offer a whole range of products at cheaper prices. they also offer a better shopping ambiance with a/c and lighting. if the smaller stores were to compete by improving, they only increase their overheads and lower their margins. groups like reliance can actually afford to lose money for the first year or so and can still survive; a nadar kadai surely cannot pull through.

    of course there are other issues with walmart in the us (low wages, employing old people, low/no insurance coverage) but hopefully these will not be relevant in india.

    one thing’s for sure – the consumer’s day has finally arrived!


  7. Ravi (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 6:05 pm

    I agree with Bharath. The small stores are no way inferior in quality to the big ones. Infact their stocks are more fresh. Moreover, what makes you say that we are slow in Retail? I think people get carried away by foreign brands, westernisation and all jazzy things. Saravana Stores have been in Business for quite sometime. Would the people visiting Lifestyle go there? Why? or why not? And don’t tell its quality. Saravana Stores has got things in all ranges and with ample good quality as well. Let see what good we can do to our people instead of always going ga-ga over something alien.


  8. K.Shyam (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 8:42 pm

    John Adams/ Etesh Hariraj who told you that chennai does not have mega retail stores ? What do you mean by mega ? The size or the volume of business ? It is a known fact that chennai&hyderabad are the retailing capitals of india. FYI, lifestyle was opened in madras as far back as in 1995 itself.
    All your food world (RPG group) and other stores originated here. In fact, VGP group is regarded as a pioneer in this field.
    In fact, most of the retailing chains you see in india have origins in madras.
    You are right about metro cash and carry, but then that is not a true retailing store in a sense that you need to be a store owner yourself to go and make purchases from there.
    K.Shyam


  9. anona@anon.com (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

    Bangalore may be booming right now, but the traditional capital of supermarket and retailing is chennai (madras). Vitan was the first retail chain supermarket in India (that’s right India). One more info your local Vivek’s store is the country’s leading home appliances chain in the country, once again it is chennai based. Chennai has many firsts, the Detroit of Asia, it has many car MNC’s than any other place in India. Bangalore build your roads first you can then think of competing with chennai.


  10. Sreekanth (unregistered) on January 16th, 2007 @ 12:40 am

    Bharath,
    Am not sure what you mean by retailing in India is different than in the US? Agreed, conditions are different, but all said and done, like Ganesh pointed out, they are catering to slightly different segments. Folks who want a kid to ‘kurangu-pedal’ a cycle and deliver groceries to their house will still buy it from the ‘nadar-kadais’. Folks who want to shop with their Santros will still drive. Agreed that the ‘nadar-kadais’ will definitely lose business. Regards the cities in the US not allowing Walmart, it’s few and far between. Again, I’m not a rabid capitalist, neither am I a Walmart stakeholder.

    More importantly, I cannot fathom your observation about the ‘max retail price’. Is your point that the big retailers are expensive (nothing lower than MSRPs)? In which case, the ‘market’ should automatically gravitate towards the ‘nadar-kadais’ for value consumers. People who don’t mind paying a few bucks extra for the ‘lighting’ and the ambience will drive to the stores. Either way, I don’t see the ‘theru-munai’ nadar kadais disappearing anytime soon. As somebody rightly said, consumers rejoice. (Except that unfortunately I’m on the other side of the pond).


  11. I P (unregistered) on January 16th, 2007 @ 6:25 am

    “The small stores are no way inferior in quality to the big ones. Infact their stocks are more fresh. Moreover, what makes you say that we are slow in Retail? I think people get carried away by foreign brands, westernisation and all jazzy things.”
    Ravi,
    Nobody is getting carried away by foreign brands, that was not my point(mega stores dont sell only fforeign brands!!!). Nadar Kadai helps only the nadar family. Shopping in mega stores helps the lives of 25 different people who work there. Nadar does not expand his shop, because he is content with the money he is earning for “his” family alone. He does not care about the two “helpers”(mostly young kids) he has. To make a “social” change these kind of things has to happen. We cannot just depend on Nadar Kadais for the rest of our lives, helping only Nadar get two more houses in Anna nagar. Having said that i do agree Nadar Kadais are not going anywhere yet. People are going to shop there for quick items.


  12. randomguy (unregistered) on January 16th, 2007 @ 6:50 am

    Big retail businesses definitely introduce more efficiency due to the volume of transactions. It’s when they start encouraging senseless consumption (i.e. buying because you can afford, not because you need it), that they differ from small shops.


  13. shek (unregistered) on January 16th, 2007 @ 11:11 am

    Retailing will never catch up in Chennai for one reason–parking.A classic case is City Centre on R.K.road which can accomodate only 100 cars(!!!!).With Inox multiplex coming up right on top of the mall,problems are expected to grow manifold.

    Coming to Big Bazaar,I second your suggestion of making use of MRTS stations for expansion.But for that to happen,the stations must be constructed completely.Even if retail stores open up in such stations,I wonder if the ambience would match up to the levels of Spencers given that the stations are located alongside a stinking canal.


  14. Ravi (unregistered) on January 16th, 2007 @ 3:11 pm

    IP, what I meant by foreign brand was the store, not the products. See, we had Saravana, Ratna Stores and quite others for a while now but we do not want to consider them on par with the Lifestyle, Food World or Big Bazaar. Why? because they are focussed only in Chennai and do that have that typical “stylish” looks. So my point is, when there are people here trying to do retailing in their own big way, why should we look upon somebody from outside to do the same in a trendy way? I would prefer a normal guy from our own India filling his coffers than a guy from elsewhere.


  15. JoeV (unregistered) on January 16th, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

    Prices will be a major factor.
    As one poster mentioned above, PARKING issue should be overcome for these grocery stores to become a ‘great’ success.
    Besides, it will require at least a generation of our folks to understand the value of supermarkets vs ‘mom and pop’ stores.


  16. IP (unregistered) on January 17th, 2007 @ 7:20 am

    “IP, what I meant by foreign brand was the store, not the products. See, we had Saravana, Ratna Stores and quite others for a while now but we do not want to consider them on par with the Lifestyle, Food World or Big Bazaar. Why? because they are focussed only in Chennai and do that have that typical “stylish” looks. So my point is, when there are people here trying to do retailing in their own big way, why should we look upon somebody from outside to do the same in a trendy way? I would prefer a normal guy from our own India filling his coffers than a guy from elsewhere.

    Last time i heard all of them are Indian stores(big bazaar,vitan,nilgiris,reliance). Second i agree saravana stores has a good model. And why are they not upgrading the looks. Why do we still have to shop in a place where only two people can stand but 200 people are trying to buy something even after 50 years of independence. Looks and space are as important as quality and service. Both has to go together for India to become more stronger and inclusive.


  17. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on January 17th, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

    What has it got to do with independence?

    Ever tried shopping in central London around Christmas?


  18. IP (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 9:33 pm

    “What has it got to do with independence?
    Ever tried shopping in central London around Christmas?”

    What has it got to do. The stores havent been expanded in 30 or 40 years. While the population has exploded 4 times.

    Yes central London is crowded but not crowded everyday(only during christmas) standing with 500 people shouting 365 days a year. Maybe you are not tired of this crowd and stores knowing people would buy even if they dont improve because they have no other choice. But now they have to, people are having choices. So thats good


  19. Krishnan (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2007 @ 7:57 pm

    We have to understand the organised retail is only 10% of overall, so there is 90% of market is still open. People are talking about Walmart, tesco, entering in to India for the kind information these people cannt sell the products directly to consumers their customers are retail outlets/institutions, and minimum purchase quantity is applied on each of the products. Even in Metro Cash & Carry India one cannt walk in to the store and purchase the goods there will be membership cards. One has to enroll by furnishing documents like Sales Tax / Commercial Tax / Service Tax then only the members cards are issued. There are some guide lines for Whole sale Retail formats.


  20. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on January 28th, 2007 @ 1:01 am

    ‘choices’ is a buzzword used by the marketing departments, as if it is something new.

    People already have choices as to what they buy and where they buy it.

    If you want to shop in the massive crowds of Ranganathan Street, you go there; if not, you go somewhere else! If you want to shop in T Nagar without crowds (stand by for the massive heresy here ;) ;) ;) ) you go on a Tuesday!

    Undeniably there will be times when the purchasing power of a big organisation will get you want you want at a bargain price.

    Let me tell you, though, what ‘choice’ really means, in supermarket terminology…

    It means ‘chose’ from what it suits them best to sell, today, according to their best profit margins. It means ‘chose’ from the brands that they have negotiated the terms they want with.

    It does not, necessarily, mean ‘chose what you want to find’.

    Believe me: I’m a compulsive shopper. I shop for pleasure.

    Big Bazaar? Don’t know… I’ll check it out, though everytime we’ve been close-ish we haven’t made it yet.


  21. Mrs.Shanthi Krishnan (unregistered) on January 28th, 2007 @ 9:06 am

    My trip to ‘BIG BAZAAR’ both at Bangalore (Old Madras Road) and Chennai (Vadapalani) is the most interesting and the most PAINFUL experience.

    The offers for some lock type containers in Bangalore was ‘Buy one get one Free’ MRP Rs.156/- Big Bazaar Price Rs.78/-. I grabbed about three pairs only to find that the Big Bazaar Price was not effected on their computers resulting one more trip to Big Bazaar, Bangalore enroute to Chennai and spend one hour to get the refund – not in cash – but in a voucher – so one had to hunt and buy something else.

    Similarly, 3 Day Mega Sale from 26th to 28th January 2007 in Chennai – the first Big Bazaaar had a huge crowd. I went with my family members o the the first day – 26th January. I regretted having been carried away by their announcements as the crowd was beyond limits. They definitely had organised the crowds but once you are inside it was only ‘mayhem’. The staff offered 18w Philips Bulbs at Rs.99/- saying it was ‘today’s’ offer. But to my dismay I found that I have been charged Rs.149/- for each bulb – I am told you get it in the market for Rs.140/-.

    Next, I bought 2 Kgs of ‘Milo’. The MRP was Rs.196/- Big Bazaar Price was Rs.149/-. Waiting in the queue for over an hour, we were tired and zapped out and returned home,at the other end of town – Thiruvanmiyur. After a very tiring day at Big Bazaar, I checked the bills late on the 27th to find that NO DISCOUNT has been given for the MILO as well. When we call Big Bazaar (Thank God they have their Telephone Number printed on the bill – 43984200) they tell me to call at least half hour later. In the background I can hear a women blasting away to glory – she must be one of the many victims who has been billed without the discounts being effected and forced to buy more than what she needs.

    SO BEWARE CUSTOMERS – DO NOT FALL PREY TO THESE OFFERS (LIKE I DID) AND BE A LITTLE ALERT AND PLAN TO CHECK YOUR BILL THEN AND THERE, TO AVOID THE PAIN OF GOING BACK TO GET MORE THAN WHAT YOU NEED.

    THIS ADVICE FROM A PERSON WHO IS TWICE BITTEN AND NOW HAS LEARNT A LESSON(Hopefully).

    Last but not the least, buying things in your neighborhood will be more meaningful and any discrepancy can be rectified within a few days without having to drive a long distance from home, a waste of time and energy.


  22. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on January 28th, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

    Oh dear… that sounds like (from my UK background) a combination of 21st century shopping with 1950s attitude. Not good.

    Taking money they were not entitled to, then refusing to give it back (a voucher just won’t do) sounds like reason to call the police to me!

    http://www.futurebazaar.com (I think I spelt that right) gives a taste of offers available. But I checked out one camera, and found it at the same price on JJMehta’s site. Now, where would you rather a buy a camera on- (or off-, I suppose) line: a supermarket, or a photographic specialist?

    One split AC unit is there at a good saving of Rs5000. Very like what we’ve just paid full-price for. My wife was very upset, but I wonder what the dleivery, installation, service etc would be like, and I’m not sorry we gave our money to a specialist supplier.

    As for customers from as far away as Thiruvanmiyur, or even Mylapore, I guess we’re going to go along for curiosity. But no way is it going to be a regular shopping trip; the savings would have to be huge to make that worthwhile.

    And if they open one on our doorstep, stories of wrong prices and rip-off voucher ‘refunds’ are not going to make it popular with very many careful shoppers.


  23. Logesh tamilselvan (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 1:41 am

    Ethish and John Adams..
    Bangalore may have 500 outlets of BigBazaar N other retail stores.. but tell me are they really making profits? First tell me do u have atleast a single mall like Spencer Plaza(Which is supposed to be one of the largest mall in south asia).With Pathetic road and traffic conditions in Bangalore, Do shoppers really feel lik shopping?
    and MR.SHEK had told the conditions of MRTS in Chennai, sir we atleast have Metro trains, which some other cities which claim as IT CAPITAL, IT COUNTRY does not have.


  24. M&S Associates Inc. (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 8:33 am

    My company is trading company.
    I have a strong interest in the market in India.
    Our company doed not have business relations with the company of your country now.
    My company has treated health apparatus and the child articles.
    Especially, I want to recommend the toothbrush for children who polish biting by dealings with a lot of countries.
    Sales results during year;
    USA-abt.550,000pcs, Japan-abt.300,000pcs, Canada-abt.180,000pcs, UK-250,000pcs, China-abt.400,000pcs.
    This toothbrush is manufactured with silicon.
    and is the best healthy child’s teeth.
    Please your company must reply to me if your company is interested in this toothbrush.
    I send to your company the toothbrush’s sample at once.


  25. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    Your company will fail miserably — because you haven’t got the sense to tell the difference between a blog site and a commercial enterprise.

    Anyway, good luck treating the child articles, and if we come accross any children who polish biting then perhaps we’ll let you know.

    Probably not though.

    ;) ;) ;)


  26. Vinayak (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

    As far as Big Bazaar, Chennai is concerned the customer service leaves much to be desired. on 25th I had bought 4 beer mugs from them and had to wait for 20 minutes just to get them packed even though there were hardly any customers at customer service desk.


  27. John Adams (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2007 @ 9:05 am

    Bangalore has more retail growth than Chennai and thats the fact.It has more Pantaloons stores like Food Bazaar,Big Bazaar,Brand Factory,etc than Chennai ever has or had.Also It has more multiplexes coming up and will be opening up in 2007/2008 than Chennai ever will.Till peoples attitudes to spending changes in this city retail growth will always bee lagging behind other metros.Chennaiates conservative thinking has been costing this city dearly.It has been putting the city back many times from becoming global.People should start thinking and living in the 21st century ideals and not 19th century.Its the people that makes the city great.If Chennai has to be no one metro in India People’s attitudes and thinking should change and everyone must have a modern outlook to living and spending.Spenceers is one of the worst malls in India.Its dirty,outdates and poorly designed Phase 1 and 2 look like from another century gone by.It does not even have a Multiplex.Today a mall is not a retail destination without a multiplex.Please see Forum mall in bangalore thats a real mall.Chennai todate has no mall to match even Forum leave alone to compete with malls of Delhi and Mumbai.Chennais is last in retail because the propensity to spend on having a life only started in Chennai with the IT revolution.Its slow in catching up.It will grow when Chennai peoples minds grow and broaden from its usual narrow conservative state.To be a Global city Chennai hasto clearly and ritely be the Best city,most popular and most preffered city atleast in South India.Today it has to fight it out each day with Bangalore and Hyderabad tradionally smaller cities that caught up and overtook Chennai in retail.



Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.