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Arvind Mediratta, managing director and chief executive officer, Metro. (Mint)
Arvind Mediratta, managing director and chief executive officer, Metro. (Mint)

Agile kirana stores conquered the covid lockdown: Mediratta

Metro Cash and Carry saw a 40-50% rise in business from kirana stores as demand from restaurants fell

NEW DELHI : As India went into a strict covid lockdown, neighbourhood shops rose to the occasion. The Indian arm of German retailer Metro Cash and Carry said it saw a 40-50% rise in business from kiranas, even as demand from the restaurant and hospitality sector fell 20-30%.

“Our kirana customers have remained very agile, including in containment zones, and have seen big revenue growth. What we would have ordinarily seen happening over a period of nine months, we saw in 60 days," said Arvind Mediratta, managing director and chief executive officer, Metro, who is also the chair of Ficci’s committee on retail and internal trade and co-chair of food processing committee at CII.

Mediratta was speaking as part of Mint’s Pivot or Perish series, where the panel discussed the future of the FMCG sector in India and bridging the digital gap. While visits to Metro were fewer sometimes, the basket value of purchases went up by 40-50%.

While the first phase of the lockdown saw people hoarding commodities like flour and oil, it saw a 60-70% jump in frozen food and ready-to-eat meals as people worked from home without household help. While the eased restrictions allow delivery of non-essentials, items such as crockery, fans, refrigerators and dishwashers have witnessed an uptick. Mediratta does not see a jump in categories like apparel in the near term, as people brace for job losses and salary cuts.

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