April 22, 2020 DECCAN HERALD: A report by retail-tech start-up Snapbizz on the impact of Kirana shopping has revealed a spike in the number of bills generated in the beginning and middle of March. This number, the report states, saw a drop during the lockdown initially, but picked up over the Easter weekend. This was accompanied by supply disruptions in most categories.
The report, covering a network of over 8,000 Snapbizz stores across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad, saw an increased/advanced buying in almost all categories. Prices have remained stable, except for cooking oil, which has seen a visible increase. Prem Kumar, Founder and CEO, Snapbizz said, “For food category, there are still supply issues in both staples and non-staples categories. The demand for most categories continues to remain high but not as high as it was during the start of the lockdown.” Retailers, thereby, are forced to look for new ways to deliver supplies to consumers to cater to an increase in demand under social distancing norms.
According to Kumar, they are also looking for ways to streamline supply chain operations with their distributors/wholesalers. “To address this pain point, Snapbizz has launched two mobile apps SnapOrder and SnapSupply, enabling consumers to order supplies directly with kirana stores and the retailer to place orders with their distributors/ suppliers.”
The report suggests a slump in the demand and supply of packaged water from the end of march; Oversupply and reduced demand, leading to falling prices, in the tea category; falling demand and crashing prices in the coffee category among other trends. The Tea category showed some unusual behaviour among kiranas in Delhi NCR, in the second week of March. In the West, while there is evidence of advanced buying, there seem to be supply issues owing to lockdown affecting tea gardens and auctions.
“Since February, we have seen a 40% drop in the number of stores remaining open and using our billing solution, because of reasons like police activity, lack of staff and lack of supplies. However, in the stores that are operating. However, in the stores that are operating, we saw a 70% jump in the value of each bill in the first week of April as compared to February, even though the average number of bills sharply dropped during the same period,” said Kumar.