Just look at the photo and it could be a store anywhere in the world. The same Pringles, Oreos, Chips Ahoy etc. stocked on the shelves. There is only one such place in Chennai though (Amma Naana). Its where the ex-pats shop. And those who have moved back from living overseas. The exorbitant prices prohibit people from shopping here on a regular basis though. I've also found that though you are able to find most non-Indian branded food products, the packets are pretty close to their expiration dates, and some are downright stale. But, (woohoo!), they even have Starbucks Mocha Fraps!
Recently opened are a chain of grocery stores by the Reliance Group, Reliance Fresh. I visited one today and was pretty impressed. The shelves are lined with fresh fruit and vegetables and the staff are helpful and courteous, though sometimes they seem to be following you around and I enjoy shopping alone, making my own decisions, picking my own vegetables.
Its a great alternative to the vegetable vendor who comes to your doorstep, just because of the range available. The prices are extremely reasonable, which leads me to wonder how long that will last. (I took some great photos inside the store, but was pulled aside as I was leaving, and made to delete it from my camera infront of the security guy!) So, here's one I got of the outside of the store (with their permission). And another of the Indian cricket t-shirts being sold there to support the team! Of course, I had to buy one!
Reliance Fresh is also a great alternative to Nilgiris, which for a long long while has been department-store-of-choice for most of Chennai. More from a lack of alternatives, I believe. Hopefully Reliance Fresh will maintain the clean shelves, happy staff and low prices!