Retailing in Kochi is driven by price and need. The city is still dominated by traditional retailers across all product categories. One of the key retailers in Kochi is LuLu International Shopping Mall Pvt Ltd, which is synonymous with retailing in the city. Another distinctive retail trend of city is gold retailing, which is widespread across city. Shopping for gold is primarily for wedding and investment purposes, and common across the city irrespective of affluence and socioeconomic status.
Grocery shopping in Kochi continued to be preferred via traditional retailers. Channels such as food/drink/tobacco specialists which includes butchers, fish mongers, and greengrocers enjoyed primary preference over modern retailing. Independent small grocers are also popular in the city, due to the convenience of having them in every residential area combined with long-standing presence in the retail system.
For non-grocery retailing such as apparel, footwear, personal accessories and eyewear, jewellery, electronics, appliances etc, consumers in Kochi prefer department stores over exclusive brand outlets. This was observed as department stores were generally considered to have more options, under one roof, and thereby shopping required less time to complete.
One of the most distinctive retail practices of Kochi was the existence of “fancy” stores for beauty and personal care requirements. Colloquially, they are called duty-free shops, however, they are found in regular shopping complexes in the city. These stores are preferred due to the availability of imported products, and imported versions of the same brand which are not common across other retail outlets.
Gold is a large part of the culture and lifestyle for everyone in Kerala. Kochi is also the same. Buying gold for an occasion such as a wedding, or otherwise, is a common practice among all consumers. The primary reason for this is that gold is viewed as an investment. As a result, the city is very popular for gold retailing, and consumers frequently visit these retail outlets.
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