Mom-and-pop stores fight back!

With the organised retail market projected to cross $ 2 trillion by 2025 and households shifting their purchasing preferences to these multi-chain supermarkets, small mom-and-pop stores (kirana stores) have been thrown on a back-foot.
 Mom-and-pop stores fight back!
With the organised retail market projected to cross $ 2 trillion by 2025 and households shifting their purchasing preferences to these multi-chain supermarkets, small mom-and-pop stores (kirana stores) have been thrown on a back-foot. 
Yet there is scope for local retailers as the share of organised retail still remains in single percentage digit. This could be perhaps due to the food retail industry in India facing a hurdle due to the rising real estate prices and inception of various international companies. Over the past decade, many Indian and global companies like BigBazaar, Vishal Mega Mart, BIgBasket etc. have set up shops in various cities of India. Despite all those lavishing offers and conveniences provided by these supermarket chains, mom-and-pop stores still holds sustainable share in the market.
Therefore, local retailers should regularly innovate to increase the footfall in their stores. Here are some of the reasons why these kirana stores are still the best preference for some set of people/ families:
1. The biggest tool these kirana stores provide is Micro-credit. These stores have always provided families the conveniences to pay when the finances are available.
2. Many families have low wage earners who can't afford to buy goods from these supermarkets even in their smallest pack size. These kirana stores are very much open in selling whatever amounts the consumers can afford. 
3. Real Estate costs are one of the biggest advantages for these kirana stores. Many of these shops existed for decades and hence have very low rental compared to these multi-storey supermarkets. 
4. Last but not the least, these kirana stores do provide many other ancillary services within their stores such as paying electricity bills, phone recharges, booking railway tickets and these allows for supplementary income as well.
Today, big businesses are becoming more consumer-centric and personalised, rapid penetration of technology, growing adoption of the Internet, supermarket retail is at its peak especially in metros. When asked about the same, Abhinay Choudhari, Co-Founder, BigBasket said, "Time starved consumers are shifting from Hypermarkets/Supermarkets to online shopping due to the convenience offered by the online retailers."  
With huge discounts and promotional offers provided by these supermarket merchants, neighbourhood kirana stores will have to find a way out to keep the ball rolling, and partnering with these supermarkets seems a wise decision. 
Going digital
Collaborating with these big merchants such as Amazon and Wal-mart is like a lifeline for these mom-and-pop stores. These eCommerce giants have started piloting express delivery platform along with the neighbourhood kirana stores. In other words, they bring a local kirana stores online. In the past couple of months, many of these big/small eCommerce players have jumped into grocery e-tailing. Vertical players like BigBasket, hyper-local delivery apps such as Grofers have also tied up with local grocery stores to facilitate their deliveries.
These eCommerce players list the corner stores as sellers and upload their entire catalogue online. They take care of the entire back-end and technology front. The idea is to provide consumers a smooth and a real-time delivery experience. The tie-up makes it a win-win situation both for kirana stores as well as the horizontal eCommerce players. These eCommerce giants are very aggressively trying to bring kirana stores onboard. Speaking on the same, Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Wal-mart said, "Kirana stores play an important role in the economy of the country and I do see us playing an important role in making these kirana stores more efficient and profitable."
Future of kirana stores
Many industry experts believe that a move to online kirana stores would not take place solely in the metro cities, but will also spread rapidly in rural areas, where organised retail has found issues in serving the base. "Mom & Pop stores will be integral part of the overall offering of online retailers due to their offline presence and wide network and proximity to the customers", said Abhinay.  
Clearly, Indian retail market is way behind on going "bricks and clicks" on a large scale as of now, but as per indications, it will soon be the best replacement to the current problem faced by big box and mom-and-pop retailers. 
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