Commerce minister Piyush Goyal is reportedly looking towards boosting local kirana stores through ecommerce portals. In a meeting held on November 5, Goyal asked the US-based ecommerce giant Amazon to work with the unorganised retail sector.
The meeting was held to understand the business model of ecommerce —accounting, investment pipeline and future inclusion of kirana stores.
Moreover, even the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) has written to ecommerce firms to seek suggestions on how the small retailer and neighbourhood stores can become a part of the larger business. Thus, it is expected that the government will soon come up with policies for it, ET reported citing sources.
Are Kirana Stores The New ‘IT’ Project In the Market?
For ecommerce platforms, getting kirana stores onboard is seen as a way to enhance performance and last-mile delivery. Therefore pushing for there inclusion might not be a difficult task for the Indian government.
Moreover, with the emerging trends and new players — both in retail chains and digital portals — the kirana stores are ready to adopt better technologies and methods to get their fair shares of the market.
With over 12 Mn kirana stores across hyperlocal areas, almost every major ecommerce platform Myntra, Walmart, Flipkart Reliance, Grofers and Big basket have started working with the unorganised retail shops to penetrate deeper into the Indian market.
By getting the kirana stores onboard, ecommerce players like Reliance Retail, Flipkart and Myntra, among others, are focusing on expanding their last-mile delivery. The companies have started getting the neighbourhood stores as delivery partners to help with hyperlocal deliveries. The kirana stores will also act as delivery and pick up points.
Grocery delivery platforms like Grofers and BigBasket, have also started tying up with kirana stores to ensure faster delivery of fresh products. This will not compromise the quality and will further generate business for the neighbourhood stores.
Moreover, the US-based retail chain Walmart has launched a ‘Mera kirana’ programme to advise the neighbourhood stores on using low-cost modern techniques and processes such as assortment planning, layout and fixtures, displays, backroom, licenses, safe food handling, customer retention, and value-added services.
Meanwhile, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, over five million kirana stores are expected to take Reliance’s merchant point-of-sale (POS) up by 2023, showing their interest in transformation.