Hyderabad: The once-popular kirana stores, seen in the street corners of almost every colony and residential area, are now giving way to swanky supermarkets in the older parts of the city. Thanks to the convenience the supermarkets offer, the trend is catching up, albeit gradually, among those who, for decades, used to prefer the traditional grocery stores.
A handful of supermarkets including a Reliance Smart outlet have set up shop in the Chandrayangutta area of the old city while a few others like the Best Price store at Attapur and Metro Super Market at Gagan Pahad on Shamshabad Road have come up around a year ago.
The Reliance Smart outlet is located well within the old city and registers a good number of footfall every day. “Middle class families drop in to make purchases as it is convenient to get all merchandise under one roof,” said one of the store in-charges at the supermarket.
He pointed out that since the opening of the supermarket last year, there was a marked increase in the number of visitors to the establishment. “I have been told by a few customers that they earlier visited supermarkets located a few kilometers away from the older parts of the city. But now they come here as it is nearer and convenient for them,” he said.
The trend for supermarkets is something new for the populace here. Initially, a few supermarkets were started at Alijah Kotla in the old city by the Masqati family. “We initiated the concept in the old city and introduced the public to it. We started our ‘Masqati’ supermarkets near Mir Alam Mandi – the grocery and vegetable market – of the old city. Since then, the public have adapted to the concept,” said Ali Bib Ibrahim Masqati, a businessman.
He explained that Gulf returnees and Non Resident Indians were the first to prefer supermarkets for availability of all groceries and vegetables/fruits under one roof. “The concept is convenient and such stores are common in other countries,” he said.
However, for various reasons, major retail supermarket giants have stayed away from the area. “Actually finding a big chunk of land for setting up a supermarket is a major problem in older parts of the city. Then they also need adequate space for parking and go-down for storage of the merchandise,” explains MBT leader Amjedullah Khan.
However, with a few function halls and single screen theatres shutting up shop, there are reports of some more supermarkets to come up in future. Another businessman from the old city said a few persons have showed interest in large land parcels in some areas of the old city and asked the owners to lease it out. However, the property owners are yet to find the deal lucrative.