Think Goa and you’d assume beaches, shacks and beer. And though at least the first two are unique to the state there’s a fair amount that’s not.
In fact, a number of well-known brands, restaurants and outlets hold forth in Goa. Take for example, Gunpowder. The famous south India restaurant tucked away in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village, recently set up shop in Assagao, north Goa. Though it’s not the same, in terms or space and size (it’s been Goa-ised), the food is still just as good.
However, this seems to be the exception. There is still a case where some brands or stores have a much smaller or limited presence in the state and in some instances, inferior quality.
FabIndia seems a prime example. The famous store in M-Block market and Khan Market, Delhi has a fairly modest outlet in Miramar (though the approach-way is definitely eye-catching) as well as a slightly larger one in Candolim. Regardless, their wares are surely limited with almost no menswear (think shirts) at least for certain sizes. There seems to be more scope for living room and haircare products than clothing, quite the reverse from Delhi.
Of course, brands have to cater to the local market and each outlet has to imbibe its own character based on where it is but in Goa, in various cases, an outlet seems to simply be around for the sake of it.
Retailers may moan and groan about the about the on/off season but it still remains to be seen why Goa has such a limited array of retail options.
Granted, this is still only in the towns (think Tier 3 or 4) such as Vasco, Margao, Mapusa and even the state’s capital Panjim – but between shopping in Malini Ramani’s Candolim boutique and plastic buckets on the streets of Panjim, there’s not a whole lot in between.
Of course, the north Goa beachside areas are rife with art cafes, fashion boutiques and so-called “culture” hubs. However, the cities still remain fairly cut-off and only attract a limited shopping and brand appeal (there’s only one mall in Panjim).
Regardless, most don’t seem to mind. If you’re simply in for a fly-in, fly-out trip then shopping may possibly be fourth or fifth on your to-do list. And it’s probably best to keep it that way – because though Goa may be trying to create a brand for itself the number of brands within Goa is definitely limited.