Grocers to stay in retail revolution


Despite the hype over modern retail malls, family grocers remain the biggest retail channel for FMCG companies, in some cases accounting for two-thirds of total sales. Hindustan Lever (HLL), the country’s largest FMCG Company is now partnering these grocers to provide consumers with a more personalized and fulfilling shopping experience.

To begin with, the company has converted four of its Delhi super value stores into self-service out lets, which lets prospective customers touch-and-feel merchandise like they would at any modern store.

The idea is to connect at the point of purchase and draw them in through special targeted promotions and consumer activations. It is learnt that HLL plans to convert at least 100 such stores to self-service out lets of about 500 sq ft area.

The self service stores use the best practices of the modern trade such as standardized units to deliver a better shopping experience.

The project is a result of HLL’s extensive work in understanding shopping behavior and preferences and for building competitive capabilities in distribution and trade and winning at the point of purchase. It is one of HLL’s several initiatives at partnering with the trade across channels—general trade (family grocer, chemist), modern trade and wholesale.

The point of purchases is fast becoming a very influential and critical step in the purchasing process. With more and more choices available to the shopper— the battle in the market place is heating up, in such a scenario—it’s very important to have the right intervention to win at this last marketing mile.

Even though India’s traditional retail is well entrenched, it is witnessing growing influence of modern trade, which is growing at the rte of 25% per annum over the last three years. Today, modern trade accounts for 9% of FMCG in metros.

HLL has invested behind researching behavior, which has helped the company in appreciating consumers’ shopping occasions and shopping needs. It has launched a series of customers’ focused trade programs. Through the super value store programs, initiated in 2004, the company has developed a win-win partnership with the trade.

In conclusion the retail market revolution taking place in India by way of Malls, Super or Hyper Markets cannot totally replace the family grocery stores. Both may continue to have their existence catering to the consumers.