Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Basement Shopping

In many Indian cities, life's basic necessities are just downstairs from home. People living on the third or fourth floors have a rope suspended from the balcony with a basket tied to it's end. The newspaper vendor, the milk delivery man, the vegetable and fruit seller and fish monger set their wares in the basket to be hoisted up by the customer from the comfort of her arm chair.

Often apartment buildings have grocery stores, cyber cafes, salons, dry-cleaners, fax and copier services at the ground level. The arrangement is particularly convenient for older people who sometimes even lack the energy to step out of their homes.

Apparently, Wholefoods is borrowing a leaf from our book planning basement stores in NYC and London to get customers come down the elevator to their store. If my Indian experience is anything to go by, it will be a big success.

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