Kids of this generation will probably never have the chance of walking down the road to pick up milk, bread or meat. They will not be talking to the neighbourhood butcher or chit chatting with the grocer. All these are becoming a distant memory more and more people moving towards the convenience of supermarkets.
The legacy of the once lively independence shops that littered the streets and the small retailers is diminishing day by day. They stand no chance against the supermarket giants who have virtually eaten up the country’s small retail businesses.
The Coles and Woolworths, two of the big names in the Supermarket industry alone possess a whopping 70% of the total grocery market. No wonder we don’t get to see our favourite small time vendors anymore on the streets. Their retail kingdom extends to the all types of consumer products competing with every small time grocer, butcher and baker to the most powerful lords of retail business. Their market is more pervasive than the banking and mining sectors. They dominate all walks of a retail business both vertically and horizontally.
Their apparent power can be felt at all levels of a retail supply chain and there is no way a mere grocer can stand up against this conglomerate power. Their competitors, the small business owners are easily overpowered and their suppliers have almost no say against their dominance.
This extraordinary growth of supermarket giants can be blamed on the way people think. People tend to associate convenience with super markets and feel better at the thought of being able to find everything in one place.
Even the real estate businesses around the regions near super market have thrived thanks to this notion of convenience that people have. Many people forego the chance at a peaceful and quiet life to have the easy and convenience a supermarket provides them. But the reality can differ.
People need to think through and beyond the simple promise of ease and convenience that a supermarket assures. Consider a common supermarket shopping experience. It will probably start out with a rigorous hunt for a parking space. Once you have spent some of your precious energy by parking your car successfully, you get into the actual shopping mode. Once you are on this mode, you just start piling up your trolley with whatever you feel to be cheap and good enough besides the usual grocery list that you wrote in your home.
In about 9 out of 10 times, People end up buying more than what they need. This was not the case with small retail shops. If someone had a list, they stuck to it. If you wanted apples you got only apples. But once you step into a supermarket, you get apples, the juices in the nearby rack and the chocolate chips near the billing counter.
Personal energy, money, cultural experiences are all something that we miss out or forget to save in a supermarket. Yet these giants are crushing the dwindling chances small business owners are left with.