Kirana stores become new supermarket amid coronavirus lockdown; aim to go online

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Updated: Jul 06, 2020 5:20 PM

Kirana store owners want to partner with online delivery and supply platforms to grow in these challenging times. 

kirana, grocery shop, kirana stores, malls, kirana storeIdentifying the scope of expansion, many kirana stores are now considering to upgrade themselves with improved technology. (Bloomberg image)

While supermarkets and shopping malls were completely shut down during the nationwide lockdown, it’s the local kirana stores that took the baton to supply essential products to households. Identifying the scope of expansion, many such kirana stores are now considering to upgrade themselves with improved technology, PTI reported citing an EY report. In a survey across various cities in India, it was found out that there is a renewed trust in hyper-local communities and the kirana store owners want to partner with online delivery and supply platforms to grow in these challenging times. 

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the kirana stores have emerged as local unsung heroes servicing the community at large, said Shashank Shwet, EY India Partner – Customer Experience and Design Thinking. The kirana store owners have taken a lot of effort to keep up with the changing demands of the crisis and managing their day-to-day supplies, he added. The way kirana store owners have adopted to innovation and digital technologies, such as digital payments, changing operating models and reduced friction towards technology, to cope up with the pandemic is highly commendable, he further said. 

Also Read: Indians set to buy food online rather than dine-in; cloud kitchens may become $2 bn industry in four years

The survey revealed that one-fifth of the kirana store owners have started tapping online platforms to get a steady supply of goods and assistance in deliveries. Also, the pandemic led to a renewed trust in the local kirana store with a surge in new consumers visiting the local stores. Adding to it, 79 per cent of such stores in non-metros and 50 per cent in metros informed that there are new consumers coming to their store even after unlock phases. 

Meanwhile, an EY report published last year had revealed that there is a huge opportunity in the food and grocery market, but the retailers often struggle for a viable strategy to address this market. It had also said that food and grocery account for the largest share in revenues in India and is estimated to constitute around 66 per cent of total retail revenue by 2020. 

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