I was using Namma Metro after a long time and was taking the ride back to Byappanahalli from Trinity. There I saw the stall of ‘Walnut Stores“, I was pleasantly surprised by its presence there. The surprise was not because it was a novel way to shop for groceries, but more so for the parallels, I drew immediately with another such shopping idea from a different country – Korea.
Some time back, not sure how long, I had seen a video that was shared on Whatsapp about how the people taking the subways had a virtual store presented on the walls of the subway platforms. They looked like the regular store racks that displayed food items to scale. And while one is waiting to board the train, they could scan the respective QR codes for the food and grocery items, add them to the cart, pay for it and it gets delivered just after one reaches home.
This was done by TESCO in Korea, which rebranded itself to HomePlus and brought on this novel way to shop to increase their sales no’s without actually opening any new physical stores. They became #1 online store and came a close 2nd in the offline market.
I had thought of this as a very unique and an innovative idea. And someday would find its place in India as well. And this is what was so pleasantly surprising for me.
The Stall was full of little pockets that held staples in handful quantities and a QR code next to them. They mainly displayed staples like rice, dals, pulses, cereals. An added Ah-ahh moment was that they haven’t just displayed staples but actual staples, that one could touch and feel, to gauge its quality before buying. I just smiled to myself thinking that the novel style has arrived in our own country.
The story behind the Walnut stores is detailed in a post by Indiannewz. Their main claim-to-fame is that most of their staples are sourced directly from the farm. They only deal with staples and dry fruits. They have stayed clear of easily perishable fruits and vegetables and no FMCG or packaged food items.
I haven’t yet tried the store but would like to shop once at least, to extend support to a novel idea.