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In recent days, people passing by some of the biggest fashion hubs in Mumbai rub their eyes in disbelief at what they behold.
Instead of the familiar eye-catcher multi-hued designer garments hanging in the windows, they witness luscious fresh vegetables, fruits, groceries, farm and dairy products, masalas, et al, beckoning them inside.
Some of the big brand names that have embraced the transformation include Benzers, Roopam, Amarsons in Mumbai and the trend has been picked up by thousands of similar big and small fashion hubs around the country, say, industry players.
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After encountering a gloomy business scenario with all the major festivals — starting from Holi (March 9), Gudi Padva, Baisakhi, Ramzan Eid, Ganeshotsav, Navratri, the upcoming Diwali, and Christmas, besides the two big marriage seasons (summer-winter 2020) — virtually gobbled up by the Corona pandemic, many retailers have taken the risk to diversify into the afresh add-ons’ to lure more customers.
“Foods and essentials are a normal thing at departmental stores or supermarkets globally… What we are witnessing here now is a welcome sign of change, a new positive trend, and we are watching it very closely,” Retailers Association of India (RAI) CEO Kumar Rajagopalan told IANS.
He says that traditionally in India, most stores functioned as unique specialty outlets, but now they are open to diversifying and combining the best of ‘designer v/s essential replenishment’.
Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) President Viren Shah, who owns the famed seven-storied Roopam Stores in south Mumbai, has dedicated over 50 percent space to replenishments like foodstuffs, groceries, dairy foods, household stuff, and kitchenware, while the other half continues to sell designer stuff.
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“Presently, nearly one-third of all such outlets in Mumbai have adopted this measure for survival and to compensate the high fixed or running costs in a city like Mumbai In rest of the country, it has been picked up by around 15-20 percent of the outlets,” Shah told IANS.
However, Rajagopalan concedes that though essentials attract more footfalls, the food segment is difficult to manage due to low margins, low shelf-life, and require more care versus readymade garments or designer clothes which not only fetch higher profit margins but have a long shelf-life with minimum maintenance issues.
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Suburban realtor Nitin Sunderji Shah and a former superstore manager Bhupesh Savla fondly recall the days of the erstwhile supermarkets like Mumbai’s “Akbarallys” or “Asiatic Department Stores” and say the current situation is akin to history repeating itself.
“From the 1970s till the late 1990s, it was considered a status symbol to shop at places like ‘Akbarallys’ or ‘Asiatic Department Store’, for both essentials and designer clothing, though the prices were relatively high, people walked out with pride, carrying their shopping bags. Then, malls came in the millennium and the shopping experience changed,” reminisced Nitin Sunderji Shah.
Rajagopalan believes that given the current challenging times for the entire retail industry with over 1.20 crore big and small outlets in the country, the new trend offers an opportunity for a comeback from the setback.
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“For starters, many neighborhood ‘Kirana’ of ‘Pansari’ stores would be converted to departmental stores in the coming months. There are more than 12 million such stores and coupled with technology plus Goods & Services Tax regime, have the potential to become supermarkets,” Rajagopalan pointed out.
Savla, a former manager with a supermarket who is now a store designer, says the secret is “good service, best quality stuff and a no-questions replacement guarantee” that helps such outlets survive in the long run.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: पहली बार भारतीय टीम में चुने जाने पर बोले चक्रवर्ती, उम्मीद नहीं थी
“Though modern-day supermarts assure quality and service, many have difficult returns/replacement policies which irk customers, especially the regulars. But unlike the good old days of personalized service, the modern-day customer has to contend with faceless shopping, long checking out queues, deliveries, and even returns,” Savla said.
Shah says the current trend may be here to stay “for at least two more years” and will help the industry recover some portion of the huge losses they suffered during the pandemic.
“More than 50 percent of jobs have been lost many outlets had to literally shut shop the crises hit us all very hard, across sectors. But, with these innovations, we hope to salvage some of the losses, move on beyond Corona and emerge stronger to face the future,” said Shah. (IANS)
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is a pattern of recurrent aggressive behavior in which one person (or a group of individuals) in a position of authority intentionally intimidate or abuse another individual to cause bodily or emotional harm to that other. Bullying may take place in either a physical or verbal manner. Bullied individuals, as well as those who bully others, may have long-term repercussions.
Bullying may occur anywhere, at any time, in person or online (cyberbullying), and can take many forms, including verbal, physical, and social. Bullies utilize their position of power — such as physical strength, knowledge of something embarrassing, or popularity — to exert control over or damage other people. Many people assume that bullying occurs solely during childhood; nevertheless, bullying does not necessarily stop after a person reaches the age of adulthood.
Bullies in adulthood can take the form of a threatening boss or colleague, a controlling partner, a relative, or any other type of person. Even in our personal and professional lives, we sometimes encounter adult bullies who can be harmful to our mental well-being.
Bullied individuals, as well as those who bully others, may have long-term repercussions. | Photo by Unsplash
How To Deal With An Adult Bully?
For obvious reasons, adult bullying can be a painful and challenging experience for anybody who finds themselves on the receiving end of such behavior. Knowing how to deal with the antics of a bully properly, on the other hand, may help you learn, develop, and feel better levels of confidence. When you find yourself in this scenario, one of the most crucial things to remember is that you must not exhibit the bully any signs of fear. This might be difficult, depending on the sort of bully you are dealing with, but bullies enjoy fear, encouraging them to continue with their terrible conduct.
Maintaining a sense of connection with other people while dealing with bullying is quite essential. Bullies usually see alone persons as easier targets since they have a smaller support network to challenge them.
Courage and a support network are significant advantages; but, reporting the bully is also an excellent line of action. Contrary to common opinion, just ignoring a bully does not always prompt them to cease their behavior. Adult bullies of all kinds often interpret being ignored as a sign of weakness, encouraging them to continue bullying. If someone is bullying you, don't be scared to speak out and report the individual.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Keywords: mental health, bullying, bully, bullied, courage, abuse, harass, support, cyberbully
Silver and gold have always been preferred when it comes to wearing jewellery. Right from the times of monarchy in India, wealth and riches have been associated with wearing gold and silver for the various properties they have. Copper is a metal that has always been worn by the poor. It is not a metal that carries a significant association with health or wealth, but wearing at least one article of copper is extremely beneficial for health.
Copper is a reddish-brown metal that cannot be worn on its own. It has to be worn in the form of an alloy to prevent a reaction. Copper oxidizes in air and forms a green layer on it when exposed, much like the Statue of Liberty. Usually, bangles, chains, or rings of copper always have brass and traces of silver in them which helps with stabilizing its reactivity.
Wearing copper with stones in it looks very aesthetic, but copper is not durable enough to hold the stones, which is why it is fashioned into elaborate designs and sold. Copper is very malleable, and over time, the bangle or ring will take the shape of the wearer's hand or finger.
A copper ring Image source: Wikimedia commons
Jewellery made out of copper can be an excellent health indicator. Copper helps metabolize bodily functions faster, and the wearer experiences relief from indigestion. It also soothes joint pain, headaches, and arthritis. Using copper utensils also aids those with deficiencies. Since copper is absorbed slowly into the body, there is no fear of causing any kind of imbalance.
Sometimes copper leaves a greenish tinge on the skin. This happens when it oxidizes with sweat. This stain can be washed away with soap and water, but the fact that it appears is noteworthy. It is an indicator of too much acidity in the body. Greenish skin appears when the wearer's diet includes too much meat or acidic foods.
Copper might not be a very attractive metal, but wearing it has a lot of benefits for the health. It regulates metabolism, assimilation, and indicates health. It is definitely a good idea to wear copper jewellery at least once in a while.
Keywords: Copper jewellery, Copper is a health indicator, Metabolism, Oxidation, Benefits of copper
By Md Waquar Haider
When popular smartphone brands like Xiaomi and realme entered the laptop market in India last year, they were expected to shake the existing giants, specifically under the Rs 50,000 category. However, chip shortage and supply crunch have somewhat dented their plans to make a significant mark to date. According to industry experts, the issue with smartphone makers entering the laptop category is two-fold. The first one is a massive supply crunch in the laptop component market and only big brands are able to get volume and supplies.
The other factor is that the traditional players are very strong in the consumer laptop market. Top 3 players control more than 70 per cent of the market and strong portfolio, distribution, and channel reach as well as brand marketing has helped them massively. "New brands can surely make a dent in the consumer laptop market but are challenged by supply issues right now. Watch out for them in 2022 as and when supply situation eases up," Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India told IANS.
Dominated by HP Inc, Lenovo and Dell, the traditional PC market (inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations) in India continued to be robust as the shipments grew by 50.5 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in the second quarter (Q2), according to IDC. Notebook PCs continue to hold more than three-fourth share in the overall category and grew 49.9 per cent YoY in 2Q21, reporting a fourth consecutive quarter with over 2 million units. Desktops also indicated a recovery as shipments grew 52.3 per cent YoY after recording the lowest shipments of the decade in 2Q20.
According to Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, driven by the pandemic and the associated accelerated pivot to remote work, learn and unwind culture, PCs have been witnessing heightened demand. "Despite the current supply chain constraints, PCs are here to stay in the new never normal. In the run-up to the festive season, established PC market leaders will continue to leverage their brand salience and gain market share," Ram told IANS.
According to industry experts, the issue with smartphone makers entering the laptop category is two-fold. | Photo by Manuel on Unsplash
"On the other hand, there is a niche market for those new market entrants that are able to differentiate themselves from the competition in terms of features and value. "Alongside, they would need to back it with strong brand messaging to create awareness and recall amongst the target consumers," Ram added.
HP maintained its lead in the India PC market with a 33.6 per cent share as its shipments grew 54.2 per cent annually. Dell Technologies continued to hold the second position with a 22.1 per cent share and an impressive 86.1 per cent YoY growth in 2Q21. Lenovo maintained the third position with a share of 17.8 per cent in 2Q21.
Arvind Suraj, Research Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), said that there is always a trust issue with new brands. "You won't buy a laptop in 6 or 7 months just like smartphones. In this case, we often go for existing players. Brands like Lenovo, HP, ASUS and Acer have already gained our trust," he said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Chip, shortage, laptop, market, India, Xiaomi, hp, dell, brands