Friday, 8 July 2011

Product Placement

HTemp:  36c
Rain:       0.0"
`-$:         44.34

In Chennai, there aren't any super-mega-ginormo Wal-gets to run in and grab a roast chicken, a pair of shoes, a video game and a set of snow tires.  Which is probably OK, if you're looking to do something with your life other than buy piles of stuff.  Here, you need to work for your acquisitions.  But it's a capitalistic economy at full tilt and if you need something, chances are someone has set up a hole in the wall (literally) offering said item.  

The shops are generally a single proprietor affair and they specialize.  With only 100 square feet or so in which to maximize your profits, you need to be your own little, tiny, category killer.  You need to put your product out front, hang it, stack it, pile it, whatever, to announce to the world what you sell and that you have plenty of it.

In Chennai, the procession of stores is reminiscent of Mid-East souks and small-town American Main Streets of 50 years ago.

Here are a handful of shops in our neighborhood:

A great greeting of strung flowers.  Wonder if I can get a lime?

A true pipe dream

The rice store

Selling cement, just cement

Tell the butcher what you want....

...and he'll get it ready

Sometimes the inside is busier than the outside

My favorite shop.  I think he deals in paper.

Elegant truth in advertising

Finally, if you can't afford a shop, you can still sell

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