The landmark Kusum General store in Avenue road is set to shut permanently after six decades. The store has been credited for introducing concepts like ‘buy and save’ where the commodities were sold below the maximum retail price.
The store was established in the year 1960 by the then 20-year-old trader CV Krishnamurthy. For the old residents of the city, the small shop on one of the most popular streets provides nostalgia. Even though the commodities were given verbal guarantee and not written, the crowd gathered at the shop and queued up to shop for bulk with an abiding trust in the shop. Krishnamurthy, now 80, recalls,
“I started the shop with an investment of Rs. 12,000 in 1960 and introduced to Bengaluru the concept of ‘buy and save’, which means people could purchase more and save money as I sold every item at less than the MRP.”
A Favorite Of The Middle Class
Krishnamurthy also recalls that the shop was named after his maternal uncle, Kusuma Ananthaiah Shetty, who also raised him. Within no time, the shop become popular and grew in size. It had become the epitome of trust for most citizens of the city. As per historian Vemagal Somashekhar, Kusum stores were a symbol of quality in the 1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s. He said,
“Most middle-class people who made a bulk monthly purchase of groceries always lined up outside the shop. Their products were good and one always attended by friendly salespersons.”
The store has also been influential in promoting the local language Kannada as it displayed boards in Kannada and urged people to learn the language. The store took up other initiatives. For example, during the Lok Sabha elections, the store would give away gifts to people who have already cast their votes. This tradition followed up until the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. The store was one of the first shops in Bengaluru to do away with the plastic bags. In 2000 itself it had started to ask its customers to carry their own bag instead of the plastic one.
After 6 decades of love and bonding, the store that has given the city so much is finally bidding a goodbye.
Source: The Times of India