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The Ubiquitous Kirana Stores - Saviour during Lockdown.

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Author - Abin John

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit India, it resulted in lockdown in all parts of the country. While big retailers and e-commerce companies struggled in supplying essential products and services during this period, the evergreen Kirana stores came to the rescue of the residents of India. They have witnessed a huge demand for the essential product because of which they faced a lot of SKUs issues.

According to a report by Nielsen, Kirana stores contribute 90% of the FMCG sales followed by 8% Modern Trade stores and 2% from E-commerce. Currently, there are 15 million Kirana stores in India which cater to 1 Billion consumers. This is the reason E-Commerce giants are tying up with the Kirana stores. For example – The launch of Jio Mart has created a lot of buzz in the market and has provided a huge opportunity for the Kirana stores to increase their sales and widen their reach. Similarly, Amazon and Flipkart are also tying up with the Kirana stores to deliver the essential goods in 2-3 Hours.

These big steps by the cash-rich giants have surely showed that Kirana stores growth will come from partnerships. This also tells that Kirana stores may revamp their business model and adopt new technologies to have a better future.

During the lockdown, it has been observed that these Kirana stores used WhatsApp as a channel for accepting the orders and used E-payment apps like Paytm, Phone Pe, and Google Pay to receive payments. According to EY – About 20% of the Kirana store owners started leveraging online platforms to get a steady supply of goods and assistance in deliveries.

This has proved that Kirana stores may not be able to give huge discounts like big retailers & e-commerce giants but they are reliable. They have worked long hours for fulfilling the needs of consumers which has increased the trust among customers.

Kirana stores have always been essential to Indian consumers and are considered as the backbone of the Indian economy, but in the current pandemic, they have exceeded the expectation of customers and were always available for them.

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