BANGALORE: The advent of supermarkets and glitsy malls is posing a threat to the traditional markets and bazaars in the city. The supermarkets that have sprung up around the city are luring customers with the promise of buying all their home needs under a single roof. Nevertheless, even in such competitive conditions, the traditional markets of the city are still holding their ground and the bazaars still hustling and bustling with activity.
City Express visited the Ulsoor Market, one of the older markets in the city to gauge the effects of the ‘supermarket phenomenon’.
One of the older localities in the city, Ulsoor was renowned for its temples and the bustling narrow streets that made up the Ulsoor Market. However, the streets are now witness to the bright lights and attractive displays of the supermarkets. The supermarkets pose a dual threat to vendors of the market by making shopping a pleasant experience as well as attracting customers with much cheaper prices.
The vendors at the Ulsoor Market are a confident lot and say that their regular customers will still visit the bazaar. Mahesh, a vegetable vendor, said, “I have been in this market for more than eight years. Many of my customers are regular buyers and have been coming here for a long time.
They are satisfied with the quality of my products and even the price
of my items.”
The temples in Ulsoor have also helped in keeping the bazaar alive. Traditional items used for worship are sold in and around the temple premises. Shashi, owner of a puja store said, “My business is still running well because of the fact that people worship in the temples regularly and purchase puja items on a daily basis. Supermarkets do not sell the type of items I do.”
Even though, the Ulsoor Market is showing resilience to the recent developments of the supermarkets, there are many sellers in the market that are bearing the brunt of globalisation. The general stores in the market are finding supermarkets to be stiff competition as the home products they sell are available cheaper in the supermarkets.
Shashikala, owner of a general store in the market said that the sales in her shop have been affected greatly. She said, “Competition exists between small shop owners and the supermarkets in the sale of home need products. There is a big disparity in prices which affects us a lot.”