Home/ News / India/  Covid-19: Availability of essential goods falls in last two days

NEW DELHI: The availability of daily essential items dropped across online and brick and mortar retail stores in the country in the last two days as state governments took more firm measures to contain the spread of coronavirus (covid-19).

Essential supplies--both online and offline--remained disrupted, with consumers reporting limited availability of daily staples.

According to findings of a survey conducted among 16,000 respondents by online social community platform LocalCircles, the availability of essential items such as wheat, rice, pulses, salt, sugar, etc. took a hit during 9-10 April, after sustained improvement in supplies.

“The 7th survey on this was conducted between April 9 and 10 and shows that after showing steady improvement over the last 10 days, the availability of essential goods at retail stores and via e-commerce platforms has started to take a hit," LocalCircles said.

On the local retail store front, the availability of essential goods declined during 9-10 April, with only 65% of shoppers able to find necessary items. The number was 70% during 5-6 April. Prior to the Janata Curfew on 22 March, the number was at 83%.

Shoppers have also been finding it hard to access essential goods online, with their availability decreasing over the past two days, the survey said.

On 9-10 April, 50% consumers were able to find majority of the essential goods via e-commerce apps. Prior to the Janata Curfew, the number was at 65%. During 5-6 April, 53% respondents said they were able to find essentials online.

“On the e-commerce platform front, the availability of essential goods had shown some improvement in the past week but has now shown a decline in the last two days," LocalCircles said.

Consumers have also reported difficulties in finding delivery slots on e-commerce platforms in the past two days.

The survey comes at a time when India is yet to take a call on extending or partially lifting the 21-day nationwide lockdown that started on 25 March and will end on 14 April.

“The essential goods availability situation is likely to deteriorate further till there is uncertainty on the lockdown extension," LocalCircles said.

"If the lockdown is extended pan India, things are likely to improve as there will be one common system for most part across India for movement of stores, warehouse and delivery workers. However, if the government leaves it for the different state governments to plan and implement their state level lockdowns, essential goods availability is likely to further deteriorate," the report said.

Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Updated: 10 Apr 2020, 06:17 PM IST
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