What are consumers buying at Kirana Stores this week?

The numbers as on 7th April 2020

Major supply issues and manpower-related challenges continue to plague the FMCG brands, big-box retailers and e-commerce players as we crossed the first week of April 2020. The kirana stores continue to play an important role in supplying the essentials to a large population across India.

Here are some of the emerging trends from across 7 cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad) across the network of kirana stores in the past few weeks.

Store Activity - Graph - SnapBizz

There were a few stores functioning outside the usual hours on the “Junta Curfew” day (22nd March) and the recovery has been slow since then.  We see a pattern that peaks over Fridays and Saturdays, which we have not observed prior to lockdown. This could be a function of increased supplies and also increased customer activity.

Billing Activity Graph - SnapBizz

Against a usual level of about 50-60 bills a day (before the lockdown), we have been seeing an increase in billing activity during recent times. This indicates more customers and also more items purchased per customer (as retailers tend to bill when a customer buys more than 2-3 items). On the “Junta Curfew” day, even with highly reduced hours, there definitely was a rush of customers.

But we are now seeing much less activity immediately post the lockdown. We will be studying the next few days/weeks to see if this trend continues – especially now when the government has extended the lockdown to 30th April. The decline in billing activity could be because more customers are buying lesser items and also the fact that, the inclination to bill becomes lesser with lesser staff and increased home delivery-related activities.

Consumer Spend - Graph - SnapBizz

Against a usual bill value of around Rs. 500 (higher during month beginning: before Covid-19), we are seeing higher bill values now and this is due to a combination of an increase in larger supply quantities being bought and increase in prices.

The sudden spurt in new cases and the beginnings of transport and city level shutdowns on March 17th, clearly caused a rush to stock up. We saw multiple spikes (a) post the “Junta Curfew” on 22nd March and (b) post the imposition of lockdown on March 25th. After that, we that the customer spend trend is settling, but we will have to observe further during the lockdown to see where this goes.

We have been closely studying various food and non-food categories and analysing the performance of the same (26 categories) on a day-to-day basis. If there are any categories or brands you would like us to deep-dive into, please write to us at vinay.s@snapbizz.com and we will be happy to share them with you.