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Chennaiites drive a hard bargain, put pressure on local vendors

In the times of pandemic, Chennaiites who are used to branded products are finally realising the value of local vendors. Though people are being accustomed to local shops, they said that they are missing their favourite brands due to lockdown.

Chennaiites drive a hard bargain, put pressure on local vendors
A mobile vendor in a Chennai street


But mobile vendors say that people are bargaining with them for a few extra bucks, which they wouldn’t dare to do in a supermarket.

“From buying kitchen essentials, food grains and groceries to even vegetables, people are more attracted to the brand. They have fixed their mind that if the product cost is high, quality would be higher. But now they are realising the fact that the local vegetable cart and ‘pazhamudir cholai’ have no major difference in the terms of quality,” said R Varadarajan, a senior citizen.

He added that in Anna Nagar residential area, people who used to buy essentials from established markets are thronging the mobile vendors, who are plying all day with food grains and vegetables.

Priya, a homemaker, said, “I always used to buy from big shops. Now, I am buying essentials from mobile vendors, which reminds me of my village days. Mobile vendors are risking their lives, but people are negotiating with them for even a discount of Rs 5. I don’t understand this because they had no problem to shell out more money for the same product in retail chains.” A mobile vendor from outskirts of Chennai said, “I have planted vegetables and sell them in the Koyambedu wholesale market. Sometimes, I roam around the city in my mini-auto to sell my goods. People, who are living in posh areas, negotiate for a few bucks, which they wouldn’t do in supermarkets.”

Though people miss out their favourite shops, people are getting used to the Corporation vegetable carts and mobile fruit vendors who are plying in the city during the lockdown period

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