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Number of supermarkets in India 2006-2016

With increasing modernization in retail, supermarkets are being set up all over India, specifically in big-city urban areas. From a mere 500 supermarkets in 2006, this number sky-rocketed to 8.5 thousand in 2016. Despite this growth, extending to large retail chains and e-commerce, Kirana stores or corner shops continued to dominate grocery retail, altering little to shake their popularity.

Kiranas have the local touch

  The Indian retail industry is unique compared to its so-called developed counterparts, largely because the market in India presents challenges that are uncommon to the latter. Traditional Kirana stores crowd the streets of India across urban and rural areas, in contrast to organized retailers which are mainly established in urban areas.
While outlets like Big Bazar and Reliance Fresh sell products at the MRP or Maximum Retail Price, more often than not, one pays less at a Kirana thanks to the art of bargaining. Moreover, the owner or seller at a neighborhood shop becomes an acquaintance; building relationships with each of his or her customers. This helps in meeting the consumers’ demand directly.  

Organize the unorganized sector

  With over 15 million traditional Kiranas across the country, a large FMCG retailer is not likely to compete in the long run. That is why, in recent years, Reliance Industries has tied up with Kiranas to better their infrastructure. Since this has already proven to bring in customers in larger numbers, the aim was to digitize and make billing easier for about five million stores by 2023. Reliance, one of the largest conglomerates in the country, powered by its Jio telecom network intended to create the world’s largest online to offline new e-commerce platform.

Number of supermarkets across India in 2006 and 2016

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Release date

May 2018


Asia, India

Survey time period

2006 and 2016

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Statistics on "Food retail in India"

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