Friday, January 25, 2008

Shtop Lights

Everyone talks about the retail boom in India.
it is overflowing to the streets as well.
i am sure you would have been approached by some hawkers at stop lights with a fairly large array of goods.

other than the traditional car wipe cloths, i have seen 'designer' sun glasses, magazines, sun shades, electric mosquito swatters and a range of seasonal items.

This week, there were Indian National Flags, stickers, and soem desktop displays of flags.

i am amazed at the distribution network and also the economics.
though i have not bought anything from these hawkers, i am sure there is sufficient business to make this viable.

Stop lights are becoming Shop Lights - or stoppers shops!

a recent sales pitch from a small boy raised a few doubts in my mind.

this boy was selling tissues. he wanted me to be his first customer - around 9 AM.
his offer was 5 packs for Rs. 100.
i had the window glass down a little, so he decided to engage in a harder sell.
when i responsed to his initial offer with a no, he must have felt that he had got my attention and interest.
he said, For you, sir, i will give you 6 packs for Rs. 100.

the sale was still not concluded.
the car started inching towards the light.
the next 'final offer' was for 7 packs for Rs. 100 and that i could never get that deal again, ever..

it was a false alarm, as the light was still red.
this time, he said, 'sir, last and final offer - 8 packs for Rs. 100'. i will give you all the boxes i have.. i am giving this only because you are my first customer.

as the car started moving, i started to wonder if i would have anyway felt bad and cheated anyway - either because the actual price would have been even lower or maybe the boxes were all empty or had a very low number of tissues.

i do not want to get the answer by buying from the street corner.
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