Mom-and-pop shops in India struggle amid competition from online platforms, retail chains
Business has never been so tough, he said.
“There is a lot of impact on our business from online retail, where they give free home delivery, and it doesn’t matter to them whether the customer buys one item or more,” he said.
LARGER CHAINS THRIVING
The online grocery shopping market is expected to continue growing, with one estimate pegging its value at US$24 billion by 2025.
Key players include Amazon Pantry, Big Basket – owned by Indian conglomerate Tata – and Reliance Industries’ JioMart.
Reliance – one of the country’s biggest conglomerates owned by India’s richest person Mukesh Ambani – is also giving kirana stores competition through its grocery chain Fresh, which has more than 700 stores.
Reliance also has a franchise deal with multinational United States brand 7-Eleven that looks to expand these convenience stores to 100 cities across India.
Shoppers who spoke to CNA said that they are attracted to discounts and offers offered by online platforms and retail chains.
FINDING WAYS TO SURVIVE
But some mom-and-pop store owners are not giving up without a fight.
Mr Niral Dharod is trying to keep up with the competition by modernising the appearance of his shop and making sure his customers can get instant access to a wide range of products.
“Today I have around 4,500 different products in my shop and that’s the reason I am still in business today, or else I would not have survived today,” said Mr Dharod.
Like many kirana store owners, he offers credit to his regular customers. They can also now send the shop their orders via WhatsApp and get their items delivered.
Kirana stores are increasingly embracing technology, a move analysts said could be crucial to their survival. Another area of hope for them could be partnership with bigger players.