The old world charm of the traditional, neighbourhood bakalas, what we today prefer calling neighbourhood or convenience stores, might be a thing of the past. But the core essence of these long-faded establishments remains. Back then customers demanded bakalas to maintain a ledger of their monthly orders to be paid off at the beginning of the month or during the salary week. These days’ we don’t see that pattern anymore; however, shopping behaviour has not changed much with consumers still preferring to do their grocery shopping towards the beginning of the month or during the pay-week.
Back in the days training on customer service did not exist but grocers ensured their customers walked away satisfied. Loyalty programmes didn’t exist; it evolved through relationship building, which is not much different today. Customers had limited choices with fewer product varieties – sans vegan, free from additives and so on – but the basic idea of consuming, and availability of, healthy food was ensured. Regulations around happiness and customer compliance didn’t exist because it was an unspoken rule to serve customers well…
RetailME takes bird’s eye view of the Middle East’s grocery retail market
In 2016 the GCC grocery retail market was estimated at $84 billion, representing a 7.7% growth, states research firm Euromonitor International. The number includes retail sales of modern and traditional grocery as well as food and drinks specialist retailers. This year the market is expected to grow by nearly 6%, touching the $88 billion-mark.
Read the full article in the September edition of RetailME