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Shopping in Cochin

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cochin, you have changed beyond recognition!!!. I remember....some 7 years back, the only places we could find good western wear was Seemati and Jayalakshmi. The salons, were regular in giving me a plain old layer cut.
My tryst with Bangalore exposed me to various one stop shopping destinations like Lifestyle, MAX, Westside, Central, and so on. Two years later, when I went back to Kerala, I struggled to find apparels that suited my taste. Cursing the lack of availability of anything 'western' I adjusted, with occasional travel to Bangalore where I would stuff my bags with clothes and travel back to flaunt them in front of cousins and friends. A revolution happened in year 2011 when MAX opened up their first store in Cochin. Being an affordable brand MAX is, they became a mass hit with the school and college going kids.

Back to Bangalore, I naturally progressed to Mango, Zara, MAC, Promod and so on and I was clearly unaware of the happenings back in my home town.

  • Marks and Spencer opened up their first flagship store in LULU.
  • Lifestyle opened its first showroom next to LULU.
  • Westside and Central have a strong footing in Cochin.
  • Vero Moda/Only/Jack and Johns has two stores in Cochin.
  • Splash has opened up in LuLu Mall.
  • Body Shop has their small, but amply stocked store in Lulu Mall and Central Mall.
  • MAX has more that 4 stores at present.
  • Rimmel Counter, stand-alone Faces Colorbar and Health & Glow stores have their presence in Cochin.
  • Ambika Pillai has opened up her Salon in Cochin, her second venture after her successful chain of salons in Delhi.
  • Lakme Salon (finally) opened up in Kakkanad Cochin.
  • Tony and Guy has their salon in LULU and Panampally Nagar.
  • PARCOS (perfume shop) has a stand alone area within LULU.

Apart from all the above brands, there are lot of mushrooming design centers that cater to an array of clientele list.
Malayalees still prefer to buy sarees from Seemati or Jayalakshmi, but the sensibilities are changing. Neon is not jakaas anymore, nor is lace and party wears.
I see a lot of youngsters throbbing malls, wearing classy, stylish western wear outfits.

The surprise kicked in when I went to Goodwill to buy some toiletries for my mother.

I bought in my L'Oreal Mythical Oil mask and asked the sales guy to suggest a Body Wash, and literally my jaw dropped when he told cooly "Bath and Body Works mam, It's one of the fast moving body washes". Yes the same bath and body works shower gel, shower cream that cost 1000-1300 online, cost 800-900 rupees in Goodwill. Apart from BBW, they also stock Victoria Secrets mists, imported Jergens, and my favorite ST. Ives products. My mom who literally cringes on a 500 rupees Body Shop BB, agreed to BBW, as she couldn't resist the smell.

 Presenting to you combined loot of the day:






  • St. Ives Intensely Hydrating Body Wash in Creamy Coconut
  • Victoria Secrets Dream of Glamour Body Mist
  • Bath and Body Works Body Wash in Warm Vanilla Sugar
  • Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber Body Lotion
  • St. Ives Apricot Scrub
  • Loreal Mythical Oil masque
  • Lacto Calamine for Dry skin 

Cochin, I hope in the coming years you continue to surprise me. Bring in rapid changes in Malayalees, both within and outside. We have a long way to go...


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