The State Of Affairs Of Varkeys

For a long time Varkey’s Supermarket chains were a staple of lots of city & town dwellers in the state of Kerala. It’s so convenient to have all those options in one store and especially if they had lots of  franchises scattered around the region. People working in offices in the city would stop by on their way home to buy vegetables, chicken, fish, bread, fruit juices packets, perfumes, powders, utensils, etc etc. I live near two of their franchises so for the past 4 years I’ve come to always expect the stores to be filled with people buying stuff.

However it seemed that the roll-out of stores across the state through debt funds has stuck their finances really bad. Too many stores at the wrong time – during the recession has made it difficult for Varkeys to maintain their status quo and hence all you see is closed stores all across the cities. The retail chain, with 59 stores across the state, could be divesting at least 25% stake to raise funds to manage growth as well as for stabilising operations, which has been overheated by rapid expansion.  The retailer has appointed investment bankers for a possible stake sale. With current liabilities, including bank loans, supplier credit and overdue salaries, running into almost Rs 20 crore, the company has asked vendors to stop supplies until the revival.

It’s always sad to see the closed shutters of their store when I go across the city. So I was glad to see that the stores were opened up in their MG Road branch. I couldn’t see much stuff on the shelf and it could be that they were doing some maintenance work or something else. I hope they recover and start opening their doors to customers once again.

2 thoughts on “The State Of Affairs Of Varkeys

  1. It seems like Varkeys is still closed.

    This holds nostalgic memories , I am sure for most of the dwellers in the metros of Kerala.

    We used to get almost every thing from these stores. Even items which are unique – Made by housewife’s – Tasty Arikkadukka for eg: An unheard of dish in south and middle and made with a lot of difficulty up north was available in one of their stores.

    This made us go there repeatedly and of course our shopping was also done when we go there.

    There was a lot of innovativeness there – No , Am not talking about discounts and coupons. There was a genuine amount

  2. Varkeys took on more than they could manage and hence they have suffered. Yes they are still closed down but what I still here is that they could open as long as they get some investment, a partner to share the burden of debt that they have.

    They were so successful but they opened stores where they had no business of opening stores.

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