There was a time when the local Kirana or the grocery stores were neglected by the people. The Kirana or the local grocery store kept all the daily essential things like rice, spices, wheat, and other household items that are needed regularly. In the past, these stores were the place where most of the shopping of essential things were done for our house, and their business flourished quite well. However, with the turn of the millennium, mall culture and departmental stores started setting in. These malls had super stores where you can get all the necessary items of your house, including the non-essential ones.
People’s inclination to shop in the malls and superstores started to grow more as they used to get everything they needed under one roof. The malls had many things right from mega grocery stores to lifestyle goods, eateries, entertainment zones, and multiplexes. The malls are air-conditioned and were equipped with ample of trolleys in which you can keep the things you want to buy. Besides, along with shopping, you can dine, watch movies and do many other activities in the mall. With so much to offer, the mall became a hub of outings and family and friends gatherings. Along with malls, online grocery stores also emerged strongly and became quite popular among the masses. They placed all essential items online, and they deliver all the products to the doorstep in a short time. With all these facilities, people gave more preference to these online stores and malls instead of the local grocery or Kirana stores of the localities.
However, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the malls and the online grocery stores were ordered to shut due to lockdown. The superstores that served thousands of customers daily now left them high and dry as they were no longer allowed to stay open and sell the products. Even online deliveries halted, creating a big crisis for people all over the country. At this crisis, the local Kirana and grocery stores showed their might and came to the rescue of the people. The shops which were neglected by the people for long now became of the hub of buying the daily essential things. As the lockdown prohibited the malls and superstores from opening and providing the regular items that are needed at home, the local Kirana stores became the only options.
People stood in queues outside these shops to buy their daily essentials like rice, grain, flour, wheat, and other products that are needed at home. The local Kirana stores were the only shops that were exempted from the lockdown restriction. They became the ally of the administration in the fight against coronavirus battle as well. Since malls and superstores had the risk of gathering crowds, which could spread the disease, the local shop showed no such danger. Social distancing could be easily maintained at these shops, and the risk of contagion remains low.
The local Kirana shops became a savior for the people when the malls and the e-commerce portals left them in a lurch. The business of these shops has also boomed in this lockdown period, and their sales have doubled than what they had earlier. The only challenge that they are facing is the supply of the goods, which remains a bit short due to the transportation restriction of the lockdown. Nevertheless, the government is trying to streamline the supply of essential things by permitting the vehicles to ferry these products. Most of the items get rapidly sold out due to the high demand and limited supply.
As there is no surety when the lockdown will end and the things will resume back to normal, the local Kirana store remains the only source of the supply chain for the people. The online deliveries are also not able to make any timely deliveries and have to either reschedule or cancel them entirely. In amid of all this, the grocery store of the locality becomes the most dependable thing. The lockdown has breathed a fresh lease of life in the local Kirana stores, which were incurring immense losses due to low sales caused by the malls and online delivery stores. In the end, the small Kirana store of our neighborhood became the only hope of survival, which we kept ignoring for years, and we must be thankful to them for serving us in this hour of crisis.