With supermarkets mushrooming in Puducherry, people can now indulge in some stress-free shopping, writes Serena Josephine

Waiting at a provision store with a long list of groceries has become a thing of the past. The spurt in the number of supermarkets in this coastal town has made shopping easy and comfortable for Puducherrians, what with the availability of a wide variety of things under one roof.

Bringing about a change in the consumer’s shopping pattern, supermarkets provide a one-stop solution for grocery needs. Indeed, the demand for the stores has been huge, leading to entry of giant retailers in Puducherry. For consumers, supermarkets have turned out to be a boon. “ “We need not go around from one shop to the other. Shopping has turned more comfortable here,” says Rakesh, a regular customer of a retail outlet in town.

From fast-moving consumer goods to dairy products to fresh fruits and vegetables, the stores provide a wide variety. This is what made Arthi a regular to these markets. “The stores are usually not crowded. It is easy to get what you want thanks to the wide choices, and you can shop at your own pace,” she says. Ask her about the price factor, and she says: “I think it is worth it considering the ambience.” More., a chain of stores from Aditya Birla Retail Limited, opened its outlet at Rangapillai Street and is seeing good patronage. “The response has been amazing. And, the standard of living is much higher here. Apart from food and groceries, we are planning to introduce bakery items and sweets too,” informs Senthil Kumar, the Zonal Manager of More.. Two more stores are set to come up in Reddiarpalayam and Lawspet.

Another retail major, Reliance Fresh, launched its first store on Villianur Main Road. Spread across around 4,000 sq ft, the store has received an encouraging response, and gets about 500 customers every day.

Supermarkets such as Nilgiri’s and Spencers’ Daily have been operating in Puducherry for a while, and Nilgiri’s is to soon open a second store at Ellaipillaichavady.

N. Vaithianathan, spokesperson for Retail Smart Enterprises, the franchisee holder for Nilgiri’s says that they assessed areas such as Lawspet, Thattanchavady, Nellithope and Reddiarpalayam, and decided to set up a new store to cater to consumers there, who, till now, had to travel to the city for their purchases.

And, people seem to be taking to these stores. Consumers are ready to pay more for quality products, he adds. “We will be coming up with value-added services at the outlet, such as a fast food counter and an ice cream parlour. We want the store to be unique. After all, people want to shop in comfort,” says Vaithianathan.