Why Brick and Mortar stores will never die
Word Count: 852
Time to Read: 3 min 25 sec
India stepped into the Mall culture two decades ago. Since then it has become a suitable hang-out and a one-stop place for people and consumers to buy stuff. With the proliferating Malls, buying almost everything under one roof is not just convenient but fun too!
There are several reasons why I feel shopping in brick and mortar store will never die.
The pre-mall shopping culture:
In Mumbai, if one had to buy reasonably priced apparels of any kind, then there were few notable places. People wouldn’t mind the distance. The price factored in a majority of the decisions and quality was less of a concern.
People would often travel to Linking Road in Bandra, Mumbai, Fashion Street, Churchgate also in Mumbai. Then some small shops and hawkers hang out near railway stations.
The area around the railway station is the closest place to buy things beside apparels. Commonly understood the ‘station road’ as it is the road that leads to the station and then also known as the market.
Such markets are commonplace in Mumbai. Every suburbs has a designated area near a railway station where you may find everything from apparels, food-joints, restaurants and some electronics. What beats most of the ones listed above are the readily available fresh fruits and vegetables in some instances.
What one should understand is that non-branded things are mostly available here. Indians (me included) at that time weren’t brand conscious. India opened its economy slowly. Brand recognitions were slow to digest.
I was in the 10th standard (grade) when I noticed international shoe brands like Adidas, Nike and Reebok among a few of my friends. I could afford one for myself only after having a job. Yes, it was pricey at that time. My parents could not afford it at that time. Nor did I have a desire to have them.
Difference between brand and non-branded stuff:
In a country like India, it mattered little. First off, brands haven’t penetrated to everything that people usually buy. The above-average price of branded stuff is not affordable for everyone.
Some people in the country don’t even care about branded stuff. This varying price point is the factor here. Local stores are places where you will find non-branded stuff and not in the malls. It is untrue the other way round.
Non-branded stuff cannot match to their counterparts, but the level of trust is different and not blind. It is hard to explain and put it down in words.
In a price-conscious market, not everyone looks forward to buying branded goods.
Can non-branded goods offer better quality? It is debatable and subjective on the goods bought.
Brands in the Mall:
Previously, if one had to buy branded and luxury goods, they had to travel to Mumbai. Megapolitan cities have exclusive stores in posh locations. One had to travel far – that would take an entire day.
Enter: Malls. Malls catered to housing national and international branded and luxury goods both under one roof. Previously too, only selective malls would have such kind of stores. Now, any city that has a mall, it is likely that they will also have branded and luxury goods.
What goods aren’t available in Brick and Mortar stores you can find them online. One drawback with online shopping is that if your cart does not sum up to minimal purchase to earn free home delivery or shipping, you may have to shell out an additional delivery fee.
It may be of little concern for frequent online buyers. But, not all of us shop goods online.
A few goods in e-tailers are pricier than in the shops – this may come to you as a surprise.
Previously, I would buy stuff online only if I was unable to obtain it from physical stores. The price was also a major deciding factor and the delivery time was next. If the price difference was huge and not marginal, then the delivery time was a forced acceptance. At least, we are sure that goods ordered on Amazon will reach us sooner or later.
The fact of the matter:
Brick and mortar stores are here to stay for a very long time, especially in a county like India and maybe elsewhere.
In physical stores, you will always find an executive who is more or less an expert on the product. He or she is there to guide you from the budget front to the features of the product. It is unlike online, where you have to do you do your research and check previously bought customer comments. Not everyone is an expert in doing research, but eventually, people will get there.
There are pros and cons to everything. Be it physical brick and mortar stores to online retailers. A vast market always has a choice to choose right, the best and convenient option.