Why Kirana stores will & won't survive

I agree to Prof. Nirmalya Kumar when he says that 'Indian Kirana shops could do well to learn a few things from their global counterparts'. He backs this up with an example of the Ace Hardware chain in the US. Sure, this is possible but the road to this kind of an 'amalgamation' would be very difficult keeping in mind the 'scattered, fractured and disjointed' nature of Indian Kirana stores.

He goes on to say that 'Indian kiranas will continue to survive because they have one of four attributes of a successful retailer — either to be the cheapest, the biggest, the best, or the nearest'. That's where I disagree. Indian kiranas are 'staying put' because they have just one of the four mentioned attributes working for them, and that is, they are the 'nearest'. For the Indian retail customer, accessing an organised retail store is not as easy as hopping into a kirana store close by, especially when he finds that he has run out of a household product. Once this 'reach' problem is 'solved' by the organised retailers, the kirana stores are on their way out.

Pic : http://www.molon.de

Comments

JANE JEYAKUMAR said…
a lotta kirana stores do a home delivery for a sudden or a slightly scaled up consumer requirement.. could a farmfresh or a nilgiris or a spencorz daily do tat?? i think tat kinda convenience is not really somethin we could be lookin at in the org indian retail scenario. Atleast, not yet...
Prof.Ray Titus said…
Jane,

That kinda convenience if demanded in large numbers, would then turn into a service offered...

As of now, the 'touch n feel' requirement gets consumers into stores...
JANE JEYAKUMAR said…
tatz precisely y i added the last line.. not yet![:)]
Sandeep said…
I am not sure if its going to be as easy as you say it is. i.e kirana stores being wiped away once the problem of "reach" is solved by organized retail. Take any locality in a city like Bangalore, where is the space,what about the people(lower middle class)? where do you think they would rather purchase from?
Quite honestly its only the well to do if I may call them so, who in my visitings to an organized retail outlet shop there. So I have my doubts, though time might weave a new story.
Prof.Ray Titus said…
Even the 'lower middle class' are restricted by the access problem...else who would not buy from a store that sells better and cheaper...

I agree, real estate is the major constraint in solving the access problem...but remember the store model can be scaled down so as to reach populated lower middle class neighbourhoods...

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