If there is any suppressing effect of inflation on the shopping behavior of the Indian middle class, it really cannot be observed here in Bhubaneswar. I was at Pantaloons today and the Big Bazaar a day or two back. The crowd you find at such malls here is intense, amazing and full of energy. The crowd has money and it is spending it. It beats even the Saturday evening chaos in Landmark at Spencers, Chennai. You won’t believe but I was asked to collect two of my John Miller trousers after two days, because they needed time to get it stitched at the lower edges. Two days!
These malls are seriously doing business like crazy. Shopping in malls is a totally new experience for people here in the capital of Orissa. And they are loving it. They take it almost like a picnic, an extremely hip family /friends hangout. They are slowly learning to use the trolleys and baskets. They are slowly learning to ride the escalator. So what if you can easily sense a trace of should-I-step-on-it-or-should-I-give-up feelings inside every third sari clad aunty who approaches the escalator. What you got to admit is that, every third sari clad aunty, after those few seconds of apprehension, eventually, does show the guts, does take that first step, stumbles a little, and finally does make it. She might be new to the moving stairs but that can’t stop her from making it to the the next floor. A new floor full of a new variety of products. Kidswear, menswear, girlswear, animalswear, everything. It’s time to celebrate. She celebrates. She shops. And she is not alone. The uncles, the bhaiyyas, the babes. Everyone is shopping. Everyone is celebrating.
Shop Bhubaneswar, shop. 🙂