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Mushroom growth of supermarkets — a menace for small shop

The rise of branded chain of supermarkets, mostly people has switched traditional grocery to branded grocery in Karachi and other urban cities of the country. This trend doesn’t show an impressive image in rest of town and cities of the country. These supermarket or retailer business sector has a massive contribution in Pakistan’s economy. Private enterprises in the industrial sector employ nearly 78 percent of the country’s GDP.

Historically, the concept of food market developed by Vincent Astor, he founded the Astor Market in 1915 invested $750,000 into a 165’ by 125’ meter corner of 95th broadway. While, first time grocery store was developed by entrepreneur

Clarence Saunders and his Piggly Wiggly stores, in 1916. Contemporary, the core products of supermarkets are garments for men and women for all age group, footwear, health and beauty, products, grocery, fabrics for ladies, kitchen and household product. The top 10 super market of Pakistan is Imtiaz, Metro, Carrefour, Al Falah, Jalal Sons, Chase-Up, Save Mart, Punjab Cash and Carry, and Green way Bin Hashim has substantial role in Pakistan’s business development.

Many researchers and economists conducted research on supermarket’s aiming their vision, policies, strategies and achievements and progress of their business. Commonly, most of the customer appreciates and switches traditional grocery to branded grocery. Due to effective layouts, atmosphere lightening, elevator air conditioning, ATM facility, easy entry and exit, neat and clean check out system, trawling service, variety of products, quality maintenance and parking facility introduced returned policy and cooperation of servants and employs. Aim of the supermarkets is to organize good quality product inlow prices and develops our human resources to the highest level because supermarket believe “business in all about people”. But for some extend it is not quite accurate. In fact, they offer crockery by brand TOYO, King Melamine companies, for electronic appliances Panasonic, Netflex, Sony, Samsung. The product or item is kept same branded item that are available outside easily. There is no much difference except that allbrands are available in one place at a time.

There are always two sides of books. In supermarket customer has to search the product in shelves due to large cover area or multiply brand, but in case of small shop product is provided to the customer by the shop keeper. In marts it is clearly mentioned “if it is broken it will be sold” because it’s a kind isself-service. While in small shop is “consider one man army” or “pop and mom stores”.

Moreover, establishment of supermarket required a large surface area, along with high consumption of electricity and demand of branded product becomes increase. The increasing demand of product means the ratio of import become increase. That affects the economy due to high tariff and liabilities that is becoming massive threat for the government.

Because, the unnecessary import engulfing our small shops business and producing hunger and poverty in our country. The profit of business is limited around the particular circle, or the owner of supermarket. “There for the rich is getting richer and poor is getting poorer”.

The poverty ratio of Pakistan is 24.5% and unemployment rate is 4.45%. Every human being has the right to live. Government should take serious notice on it and increase the opportunities of the earning. Moreover, government should formulate effective policy and program, rather than to provides monthly payment for the people in order to eradicate the poverty. Although supermarkets develop the society, but according to poverty and unemployment ratio of Pakistan government should minimize this mushroom growth from the country so that the small shop keeper can get employment opportunities too.

The author is a M.Phil, research student at University of Karachi

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