Mr. and Mrs. Wiseacre were out on their evening stroll. As this month’s weekend was near, Mrs.  Wiseacre was ready with her list of groceries to buy for next month. But today was different, this time she was not excited to shop as she used to when they first moved to this metro city six months ago. Till today they had explored all the shopping options (online, supermarkets and malls) available in their city.  It was already been an hour now discussing on whether to visit supermarket or shop online but Mr and Mrs both couldn’t decide the shopping method.

Mrs. Wiseacre was explaining – Shopping is really becoming pain in my arse. Online makes me tired. To begin I need to first choose the e-commerce portal, which calls for close analysis and comparison of prices, offers and delivery dates each one of them offering.  Visiting supermarkets on the other hand takes too much of time starting from finding a parking spot to wait patiently in long queues at billing counters. Whether online or offline, I also find myself flustered with the availability of so many options/brands for almost all kind of products. Every time I visit, I will find some new brands that replaced the brand I finally became familiar with. Choosing a product sometimes seems an analytics expert’s work. To decide I will use google and my analytical abilities to figure out which of these brands have good reviews or which one of these exotic products is good.

Last month, I remember buying olive oil. There were varieties of it and for every variety different brand, I felt even google got confused and after spending like half an hour standing near the shelf my tired and confused mind gave up and I just got one with my gut feeling. I am still not sure whether I picked the good one.

Mr. Wiseacre – You are right honey. There used to be few established brands and we trusted their products. availability of too many options and products makes it difficult to make the right choice and paves the way for fraudulent brands and products too.

We keep reading many articles about deteriorating quality of food and vegetables, many diseases creeping in young ages, adulteration in food items etc. always raises too many doubts on the new upcoming brands. We all want to maintain healthy life style and no doubt all these market channels have made life easy specially in metro cities but it also has made shopping more complex.

Mrs. Wiseacre- Yes, very true. I have also noticed that many a time, there is not much information is provided on the packaging about the product manufacturer.  The staff present for assisting customers also seem to be unaware of the quality and the integrity of the product kept by them in the shelf.

Also, I always have to remember to check expiration date of products I want to buy as old stock is kept in front row in shelves for clearance.  I have learned this lesson after getting fooled two times by the offers they provided for clearing the old stock.

Mr. Wiseacre- Yes, it’s a matter of concern as not every consumer gives much thought before buying products because of lack of time or interests but it’s their right to get the quality they are paying for.  To ensure this it’s the duty of producers and marketers to put customer welfare before greedy interests.

As Mr. wiseacre finished his sentence and stood still for a while and then started walking in opposite direction of their apartments building. Mrs. asked- why are we going in this direction but Mr. didn’t reply and kept walking with a curious look on his face. She followed him and after a short walk Mr. stopped at a small grocery shop in their neighbourhood.

Shopkeeper asked him- Are you new Sir, I haven’t seen you around. Mr. said- yes, we moved here around six months back. He smiled and said – is it sir! very well, my name is Glocal and my shop is here for last 15 years and I know many people in this neighbourhood. Tell me how can I help you. Mr. Wiseacre replied – oh yes these are the groceries I need and handed the list to Mr. Glocal that he passed to one boy. He took the list and went inside. Meanwhile, Mr. Glocal was telling that he provides door step delivery also, you just call and one of my boy will write down the items and bring at your doorstep in no time. The boy who went inside was now back with all the grocery and started tallying with the list. Mrs. Wiseacre couldn’t stop herself and asked do you have any other brands available for this coffee. Mr. Glocal signalled his boy and boy went and came with 2 packets. Mr. Glocal said- Madam these are the other brands they are also good but I keep close eye on what my customers are preferring and quality of the product. Brands keeps coming and going but I keep only those that have lasted. So, don’t worry madam I will provide you what is best available in the market.

Mr. Wiseacre had already paid with the cashless option available at the shop and saw his watch it only took them ten minutes including this pleasant chit-chat. He saw Mrs. Wiseacre was smiling as they started walking towards their society. She said- Well Honey it seems like we need to add this Mr. Glocal’s shop also in our options of shopping methods. Mr. Wiseacre nodded contently. Mr. and Mrs. were now discussing on which movie to watch in the saved time.

The content of this post is purely the author’s personal opinion and it does not necessarily reflect the view of any, person, government, religion and We hope readers will consider this perspective.

By Shilpa Shrivastava Kashyap

Shilpa is an avid reader animal lover and Nature enthusiast.

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