Corner Stores & Yolk

Corner Stores & Yolk

Science has changed it’s view on health benefits of yolk way too often. So often that it has stopped mattering what they think. Similarly, on corner store. Requiems when organised retail made it’s entry. Requiems with entry of E-Commerce. False alarms. Barring the usual death of the unfit, the corner stores have only blossomed despite these tectonic changes.

The worst for the corner stores stores is over. If anything, now is their time.

Why, you ask? Here are the three reasons, why:

  1. Early technology was not about doing newer things. It was about doing what we do, better. It was about efficiency & optimisation. Not innovation. Old age technology products replaced green sheets and the human beings scribbling on them, with automated algorithms. They helped businesses serve their customers better with less. These products were bought only by the rich. Millions of $ cash down to buy and then massive cash outs as AMC. Big got bigger. Small moved on. That war between Davids is now over. Now these Davids need to fight the agile, nimble and young corner store. They are not designed to win at this turf.
  2. By dropping the investment needed to build a product, cloud has fostered young companies like nothing else. These young and agile companies have created cheaper, better and user friendlier business systems. They have taken these systems to younger companies. Mom and pop stores. Corner stores. Bakery. Eateries. Priced it in a manner that there is a win win for every player. The corner stores are beginning to access the same level of sophistication as the top guy – ordering tech, fin tech, warehousing tech, logistics tech, sourcing tech amongst others. At completely affordable subscription prices or in return for commission. Over the next couple of years the early adopters amongst corner stores, would run their processes in as sophisticated a manner as an organised player. The corner stores will be able to offer relevant assortment at the least possible price, right when the shopper needs it. Scale as a competitive advantage in distribution, is not on just it’s way out, but will become a burden to carry.
  3. The new generation is defining value very differently from the conventional way:

Value =Need it now & cheap+ trust

For the Davids it’s really hard (and expensive) to acquire the attributes of ‘Trust’ and ‘Now’ from a distance and at scale. ‘Cheap’ is no problem. For the corner store, process optimisation allows them to offer higher value to their customers. ‘Cheap’ will get done. ‘Trust’ and ‘Now’ they’ve secured already.

Pretty intuitive who this round will go to, isn’t it? Welcome back at the corner store.