Problems for Organized Retail In Kerala

After Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, it is time for the organized retail to face hurdles in the state of Kerala. The southern state has strongly resisted against the entrance of new retail formats in the domestic markets. The Kerala government has also shown support in this movement.

There are many big players in the retail scene of the state. Big bazaar and Reliance Fresh have opened a few stores in the state. There is one store of Big Bazaar in the district of Palakkad. Palakkad is a major town in Kerala. It is also my native place.I have seen it changing over the past few years.Also retail growth is witnessed in cities like Cochin and Thiruvanthapuram.

The organized retail has successfully managed to wet the appetite of the consumers of these cities. But the small retailers have been consistently protesting against these retail giants.

There are many co-operatives and professional associations such as All Kerala Distributors Association and Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) which is playing a significant role protecting the interests of these small traders. Also the local government has taken steps to open hypermarts under the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation in major city centers. Furthermore these retail giants have been eying domestic manufacturing companies for their supplies which will make the SME's less competent to compete.

In order to avoid such situations, there are measures taken to change the image as well as the formats of the local players in order to compete with these modern retail companies.

To sum up organized retail would hit a roadblock in Kerala as in the case of Maharashtra or any other state for that matter till long term solutions are put into place to safeguard the Kinara Stores.

Contributed by:Nithin Narayanan with inputs from Vaibhav Agrawal