Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Reliance fresh @ RMV is my favourite joint for shopping my daily needs including vegetable, fruits and some groceries. In the beginning i used to shop at Fraser town when it opened newly in 2006. Those were the days when Reliance had the philosophy that they should compete with vegetable vendors. The vegetable vendors @ Fraser town outbeat their strategy by emptying the stores within 30 minutes. Stock out was a frequent phenomenon in their outlet, primarily because the shopkeepers used to purchase and re sale them in their outlets.

This was really frustrating as a consumer, instead of agitating against Reliance management vendors were happy to empty their shelf and defeat the purpose of passing on the gain. The management increased the frequency of refilling but it never succeeded in preventing the stock outs.  This could been a model for wholesaling the product like Metro, but Reliance was unable to cash in on the opportunity.

In UP the hawkers went on rioting against Reliance fresh. It forced them to down the shutters. Even today i am not sure Reliance has opened their showrooms. Nevertheless the Reliance management learnt the trick and the ropes to increase the price almost to market levels. Instead they planned to disburse loyalty points by issuing a card.

There is no substitute for great team work. This is proved in the store employees loyalty in serving the customers. I used to complain to them that there were stock outs of Goodlife, Amul curds, Paneer etc. Now they have improved their supply chain in these items. Mushrooms are always available in the outlet, but it is tad expensive and I avoid purchasing them. Vegetables are nowerdays in far and few quantities due to the fear of getting rotten.  Remember Subiksha, it had to down its shutter because vegetables started rotting and emanating stink in their outlets.

There is acute shortage of power in Blore and malls have been advised to switch off their AC s in the morning hours. A novel solutions have been arrived to supply vegetables in the morning hours so that it does not raise a stink in the night. Remember Subiksha, the outlet used to raise a stink as soon as one enters. Instead of inviting customers it used to repel the customer and keep the employees in bad mood. Some employees are provided with tablets above their PC for fainting as an exigency.(guess the Mall)

With regard to pricing i find that Reliance comes out with some scheme or the other. The recent scheme is the that of scratch card. On every purchase of 300 the customer is entitled for scratch card. Prize amount varies from 25 to 300. I was lucky to get once 100 off coupon and other times 25 and 50 off. I keep collecting points on each and every purchase too.

On purchase of 1 litre tetra pack of Amul milk, till recently they used to give Rs 5 off, but now the scheme has been withdrawn. No other Mall was offering this facility which obviously means they were pocketing the same. B Natural apple juice is now available @ 49 per litre. I have not found this scheme in other stores as on date.

However one of negatives is that there is no non veg available in the MALL. Probably it is for the fear of raising a stink. I think they will definitely find a solution in future. Maybe have a seperate enclosure. I am sure Mukesh ambani s ambiition to delight the customer will be fulfilled.  Non-veg seperate counter was opened and it was shut down due to lack of business.  It is sad that Reliance had to withdrawn from selling Non Veg in seperate counters.  The basic flaw in their business model was that they did not have sufficient refrigeration facility.  Secondly the staff were not committed to ensuring loyal business, and finally most of the stuffs were disposed off at 50% price.

I would rate Reliance fresh has now perfected its model of selling vegetable and fruits to a large extent.  They are able to access consumer demand and accordingly procure the items.  Secondly the staff play a major role in ensuring success of retail business, Finally pricing and schemes have been passed to the consumer.  Many malls have the habit of pasting revised price sticker as and when the price increases, which i feel is a retrograde step.  Instead they can  allow the consumer the benefit of old pricing for a few days, it would gain more consumer loyalty. Among the Malls i have visited i find that Reliance is one of the best managed.  

Negatives :  Complaints of wrong billing, Parking facility, Loyalty card tampering, etc have been noticed.

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