Kirana stores have had many makeovers and growth variations in the last couple of years. With the sudden emergence of e-commerce solutions and multinational online retail players, who offer various easy pay and delivery options, the next-door grocery stores have been put to various tests and have had to face immense competition and the fear of being run out of business. But in reality, India has more than 6.65 million Kirana stores across the country according to Nielsen. Unlike the West, general trade stores in India form nearly 90 percent of the country’s total trade. The overall contribution of supermarkets and organized grocery stores remains a meagre 10 percent. Although these numbers are slowly changing, in recent times belief in the Kirana stores has been reinforced due to the global pandemic.
Kiranas Emerge As Saviors During COVID-19
With India being under lockdown for the past two months, the entire nation of 1.3 billion is today largely relying on Kirana stores for their essentials – food, beverages, personal and household care products. A new normal can be seen emerging in terms of unexpected changes in consumer behavior trends and how a new-found humble relationship has developed between the local Kirana store and the customers who live in the vicinity. As a result, these customers now see them as the biggest support system during this unprecedented crisis.
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