Well time for a mystery. I don’t know what the issue is but there is a problem with my area that it seems that supermarkets are doomed here! And I just mean a small section of Kacheripady which is an area in the city of Cochin. See I live in an apartment building about 5 minutes away from the main road and we have some shops in our junction and walkable area nearby. But the supermarket situation has always puzzled me. When we first moved here back in late 2007 there was a small supermarket two buildings in front of us. That was convenient! Now I mean a rather small supermarket, more like a small shop but they had most of the things that we’d want, except for fresh fish or meat and most vegetables but since we have door to door fresh vegetable delivery operating in the area as well as a small grocery store opposite the supermarket, it was quite ideal for us.
Then Varkey’s, a then popular supermarket chain in Kerala opened their store nearby and the supermarket started getting less and less business. 3 years later, it closed down as the owners, a couple in their late 60s were unable to keep a profit. A guy who used to work for them a few years earlier said that he would take over the lease and continue the business so they handed it over to him. He ran it for a year and a half before he moved it to a similarly sized store just a couple of buildings down the road. Still quite convenient so no one complained. But it was quite obvious that he was having trouble getting regular customers and hence also having trouble keeping the shelves stocked. A year or so later he shut the store down. By 2010, Varkeys began having severe financial trouble due to mismanagement and they started closing down several of their store including the one closest to me.
In 2011 the same guy restarted the supermarket again but at a smaller scale and continued his business at the first location. Yet the rental costs itself was very difficult for him and he wasn’t getting much business, plus his stocks were bare minimum, and he had to close it down yet again in 2012. Now the store has been split up into 3 to become a beauty parlour and a men’s barber shop and small stall that sells cigarettes, snacks and juice! I heard that the second guy who ran the supermarket is a partner in the combined 3 businesses. Meanwhile sometime earlier this year (I think 2-3 months back) a new supermarket opened up in the same location as the Varkeys and they seem to be doing alright. I myself have only been there one but will be using them more often. I shall even take a video of the store. But I wonder why the heck supermarkets have had such a big curse in a residential area that also has a few businesses and other types of stores nearby!