Mom and pop stores

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Mom and pop store is a common colloquial expression for a single-family owned and operated business situated in a single location. Mom and pop stores offer a shopping alternative to consumers who wish to deal with products or services which are native to a given city or town. The owners of such businesses are established members of the local community.


Why should I be aware of this?

With the advent and proliferation of malls and huge retail chains the consumer market for mom and pop stores has reduced, many of these locally owned businesses continue to operate and even to thrive in today’s economy.

These small retailers generally maintain smaller consignments and have lower individual contracts but many are still as likely to attract handsome, consistent bottom line unit profits when compared to large-scale retailers, according to some analysts.

Buying from mom and pop stores also helps preserve the character and uniqueness of our community and motivates community leaders, business owners and non-profit organization to come together and participate more effectively in the development process.

How does this affect me?

The friendly neighborhood grocery store is being replaced by the megastores. Most of the of the little stores closed years ago, when shoppers discovered that they could buy everything they needed in one place.

Buying local cuts out the middleman, puts more money into the local economy, and reduces transportation costs and environment-destroying, energy-wasting long hauls

Mom and pop stores and environment

The malls and mega shopping complexes, in their efforts to attract consumers have large environmental impacts in the form of energy consumption from lighting and air conditioning, carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles used by customers and for transporting products. The shopping centers face waste management challenges to deal with the garbage produced every day--from used packaging materials to leftover food at restaurants.

All about mom and pop stores

The local general store is a time honored example of a mom and pop store. Earlier, every small town had a business district that was anchored around a locally owned general store which would offer a selection of canned goods, dry goods, fabric, and other common household needs. These stores also offered people the opportunity to interact with one another while they shopped.

The corner drugstore is another example of a mom and pop store. Such stores provide not only prescription medications, but also a selection of over the counter drugs, various gifts and notions, comic books etc. Often the druggist or pharmacist would be the proprietor of the store and would be a well known figure in the community. The general store too functions as a center for social activity in the community.

Many mom and pop stores today have changed form and developed into locally owned coffee houses, pizzerias, and cafes.

The mega stores

Mega chain stores are a phenomenon that has spread all over the world, and has grown in popularity over the years. They have been successful by saturating the retail market in areas where they are built. This way they are able to undercut their competition and make it virtually impossible for their smaller competitors to survive, or even start up in a free-market economy.

The big stores also offer attributes such as low prices, large supply and variety, and extended store hours which the mom and pop stores can’t match. These attributes are duplicated in all the stores, regardless of location or demographics of the area. This is a facility the consumer gets accustomed to and find shopping comfortable.


  • Of the current 204 million households in India, it is estimated that only about 13 million households are comfortable and have the income to patronise organised retail.
  • This relevant consumer segment, however, will grow five fold from 13 million to 65 million households in the next 8 years. [1]


In certain countries, especially in the developing economy, organised retailers found that, in the absence of efficient supply chains, they had moved too fast in opening stores and in offering discounts. —and are now making amends. In most places, even the world's ;argest retail chains are moving slow, while the good old mom and pop stores that weathered all recessions and periods of inflation in the past continue to do business as usual.


  • What is a Mom and Pop Store?
  • Mom-and-Pop stores make a comeback
  • Sprawl and Small Businesses
  • Kirana store is big


  1. Mom and pop stores will continue to remain relevant in India: McKinsey