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Local kirana shops won greater acceptance during lockdown: EY survey

Local kirana shops won greater acceptance during lockdown: EY survey

The coronavirus pandemic seems to have spelt good news for the country’s local kirana stores. A study ‘Sentiments of India – Pulse of the country, Kiranas’ by EY India showed that there has been renewed trust in hyperlocal communities with these stores, many of which are mom and pop. They emerged as major hubs during the lockdown period as they helped in maintaining the regular supply of essentials.

According to EY, the pandemic has led to a renewed trust in the local kirana store with a surge in new consumers as the nationwide lockdown hit the movement of consumers. Consumers, who would earlier shop online or from supermarkets, are now preferring to buy from local kirana stores to avoid long queues and there is a semblance of trust and traceability.

“In fact, RWAs (Resident’s Welfare Associations) and societies have emerged as key players within the ecosystem, who are enabling group buying and choosing vendors as a collective,” the study showed.

The survey also highlighted that there has been a positive movement towards the adoption of technology with 40 per cent respondents comprising kirana store owners stating that they wanted to partner with online delivery and supply platforms to grow and tide over the testing times.

“Most kirana shops have proved to be agile and resilient, being able to bear the brunt of an unforgiving pandemic. Lacking other means, they have created a simplified online journey using chat apps as a medium of taking orders, providing contactless delivery and then receiving payments through digital platforms,” a press statement by EY said.

Another key insight is that consumer loyalty to brands is now in question, providing a window for new brands to replace old loyalties. At least 69 per cent kiranas in the non-metros were able to sell alternative brands to their customers.

However, the study also showed that many of the kirana stores experienced a breakdown in the regular supply chains and distribution channels.