Ecommerce vs Kirana stores: Mom and pop shops to thrive even as Amazon, Flipkart give tough fight

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Updated: October 16, 2019 5:33:10 PM

While e-tailers will see their share getting fattened by 2021 and traditional retail will shrink, the kirana stores will still have three-fourth share of the market which is expected to grow to over $1.2 trillion by 2021.

From the poshest neighborhoods to teeming slums, typical Indian kiranas are cramped spaces that can just about fit a king-size bed but are chock-full of sacks of rice, lentils and dried chili peppers.From the poshest neighborhoods to teeming slums, typical Indian Kiranas are cramped spaces that can just about fit a king-size bed but are chock-full of sacks of rice, lentils and dried chili peppers.

In India’s retail landscape, e-commerce stores have been giving a tough fight to the mom and pop stores but a majority of sales are still done via traditional retail channels. According to a recent Deloitte report, “traditional retail is expected to continue to dominate in the foreseeable future” as well. While e-tailers will see their share getting fattened by 2021 and traditional retail will shrink, the Kirana stores will still have a three-fourth share of the market which is expected to grow to over $1.2 trillion by 2021, a joint report by FICCI- Deloitte said on Wednesday. “Local grocery shops (Kiranas) shall remain relevant as they offer good services to their customers, provide a handy credit facility to them and have built a relationship with them over time,” the report cited Arvind Mediratta, MD & CEO, METRO Cash & Carry, India, as saying. 

“The resilience shown by Kirana stores is phenomenal and they have shown willingness to adapt,” Krish Iyer, President and CEO of Walmart India, told reporters at FICCI Massmerize event on Wednesday. “India is an attractive market for players who look to cater to Kirana stores,” he added.

Further, the traditional Kirana stores, found in the nook and corners of the neighbourhood, form the backbone of Indian Retail as they hold about 88 per cent share of the total retail market. “The country has a total of 12 million Kirana stores, which comes to about 10 stores per 1,000 Indians,” the report said. However, other than the convenience factor, the Kirana stores also hold the value proposition charm along with a plethora of other features that e-commerce is still to buck up with. According to Deloitte report, locational proximity to customers, the availability of free home delivery in less than an hour, credit by accepting delayed payments, flexible conditions for product returns and exchange and the ability to offer personalized items on the basis of consumption patterns of local community, and ordering specific items as per special requests are some of the features that have helped the Kirana stores to sustain. 

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