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Co-op store grocery a hit on the streets

 Image result for small 10 rupee packets groceriesAt a time when retail giants are luring consumers by offering facilities like centralised air conditioning, parking and various discount offers, the Trichy District Amaravathi Consumer Cooperative Wholesale Stores Limited has hit it big by reaching out to the daily wagers to sell their grocery items in small packs.
The humble initiative, concentrated on places like bus-stands and markets where ordinary folks converge, has seen a multifold jump in business in recent times. For instance, in July the cooperative generated Rs 8 lakh revenue by selling grocery items in small 10 rupee packets. This was a huge jump from the Rs 2.50 lakh their business raked in during the month of April, the cooperative authorities said.
"We are selling a total of 25 items including Bengal gram, green gram, red gram, poppy, coriander, mustard, cumin, turmeric, Ajowan, fenugreek, garlic, red chilli powder, asafoetida, fried gram dal, hyacinth etc. in small packets. All the packets are only priced at Rs 10. At present, our employees are selling groceries at Woraiyur vegetable market, near Chathiram and Central bus stands, Thayanur shandy on Saturdays and on Sundays in Ponmlai shandy", said K P Vanathi, joint registrar of Amaravathi Limited.

Earlier, these items could be had only from ration shops. But after they were made available in various places where people converge in large numbers, business has increased by leaps and bounds. "It has been lapped up by those who commute every day. They can buy their daily needs on their way home on a daily basis," an official pointed out.
The consumer cooperative which mainly concentrates on public distribution system (PDS) also runs two self-service outlets at Kailasapuram and Ponmalai where they sell non-controlled commodities (NCC) like groceries, oil items and cosmetics. A couple of employees of Amaravathi Ltd are entrusted to look after each spot. Their modus operandi is simple: spread these 25 items in any corner of markets or shandy or roadsides, bus stands and people just flock to them.
"A majority of our customers are daily wagers. They preferred our stalls as we have small packets as per their requirements with quality assured", says N Sivakumar, a sales man at the Woraiyur stall. People from middle class and above flock to big malls even to buy a match box or a bunch of curry leaves. However, the poor and daily breadwinners have no option but to seek ordinary 'maligai kadai' (small grocery shops). Targeting these people, Amaravathi has taken the initiative to distribute quality goods with very minimal profit," said Vanathi.
Amaravathi has its own wholesale units in Manapparai and Lalgudi. From these units the items would be transported to self-service outlets as well as shandy and markets. Normally, grocery items are being sent to government hostels, hospital canteens etc. In order to enhance revenue, she decided to extend sales to other private institutions also. When she approached educational institutions, they readily agreed to buy groceries from Amaravathi. "Some more institutions have promised to tie up with us. Once it materialises, it would help generate more revenue for the cooperative sector", she said.

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