Despite being a staple in most Indian dishes, onions have become unimaginably, exorbitantly expensive across the country. The onion price rise has been a pungent pill to swallow, with the vegetable that once cost Rs 30 per kilo now going for anything between Rs 130 to Rs 200. While some are using this as an opportunity to push forward their agenda of cutting out onions from your diet or simply to turn it into a TikTok video, others have incorporated the price rise in a slightly more positive strategy. Instead of offering customers the chance to win free tech gear as most stores would, STR Mobiles—a mobile phone sale and service centre in the Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu—is offering people a far more important perk: free onions. This shop is now promising customers that with every smartphone they buy, they are eligible to get one kilo of onions absolutely free. Because who needs a free iPad when a bulb of onion is enough to light up your life?
“Nobody in Pattukottai has ever heard of such offers. So people are curious. I have been observing more footfall at the shop since the advertisement was put up,” Saravana Kumar, the owner of the store, told The News Minute. While his store is almost eight years old, on average, Kumar used to sell two phones a day. However, after he announced that free onions would be handed out with every smartphone, his sales rose to an average of eight a day. He also lets his customers pick between different varieties and sizes of onions after they have bought a phone.
Even as the government scrambles to import more onions and reduce the price of the staple ingredient, this mobile store’s marketing strategy is a testament to the typical Indian mentality that it’s okay to spend money when you’re getting more than what you bargained for.
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