Lockdown cause decrease in purchase of essential items: Study

Though online retail platforms had overtaken local vendors over the past few years, the trend was reversed during the lockdown
Participants were asked about their essentials shopping pattern before and after lockdown and it was revealed that around 56% of the respondents went shopping for essentials daily. (HT PHOTO)
Participants were asked about their essentials shopping pattern before and after lockdown and it was revealed that around 56% of the respondents went shopping for essentials daily. (HT PHOTO)
Published on Dec 18, 2021 10:26 PM IST
Copy Link

A new study on people’s purchasing behaviour during the initial days of the pandemic indicated that a fear of infection as well as lockdown restrictions caused a decrease in the frequency of essential purchase but resulted in panic and excessive buying. Though online retail platforms had overtaken local vendors over the past few years, the trend was reversed during the lockdown.

A team of professors from the civil engineering departments of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) Bombay, Palakkad and Hyderabad and the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani-Hyderabad campus analysed responses of over 700 respondents on their purchase of perishable and non-perishable essential commodities during the initial months of the lockdown. The study findings were recently published in Research in Transportation Business and Management journal.

Participants were asked about their essentials shopping pattern before and after lockdown and it was revealed that around 56% of the respondents went shopping for essentials daily but this figure dropped to 34% post lockdown.

“Some people had stocked up on essential commodities sensing the uncertainty of the situation and future, as a result of which people visited markets less frequently. People visiting markets once in two weeks increased from 7 to 14.1%,” the survey report stated.

As per the survey report, 88% respondents (up from 77% before lockdown) preferred visiting local markets and vendors for perishable items whereas 72% (up from 44% before lockdown) opted to buy perishable items from the local vendors during first few months of lockdown.

The survey was conducted via various digital platforms between April 29 and May 25, 2020, and a total 730 responses have been considered by the researchers. Around 63% of the respondents belonged to the tier 1 and tier 2 cities and came from 20 states across the country.

“Consumer purchasing behaviour of essential commodities has consequences on retail stores, manufacturers, logistics companies, online stores, transportation planners, and policy makers during normal period. During emergencies such as a COVID-19 pandemic, studying the behaviour is even more critical, because it is the question of their survival and we should ensure that everyone has access to essential commodities. The purpose was to understand the shift during emergencies, which can help stake holders to make their systems resilient and to plan activities to minimize the negative impact,” said professor Gopal Patil of IIT Bombay and one of the authors of the study.

“The increasing share of organised retail stores reversed during the lockdown because of their inability to cater to the excessive demand and the proximity of kirana stores,” the report stated.

Other factors that accounted for this shift included difficulty in placing orders online especially since several items were not allowed to be sold online, lack of trust in retail vendor as well as restrictions in transport affecting supply chains.

The researchers suggested that local shops should stock essentials commodities and efforts must be undertaken to facilitate local kirana stores to enhance their in-store purchasing by making electronic payment gateways accessible.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Shreya Bhandary is a Special Correspondent covering higher education for Hindustan Times, Mumbai. Her work revolves around finding loopholes in the current education system and highlighting the good and the bad in higher education institutes in and around Mumbai.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A police officer from the Visharantwadi police said the complainant told the caller that he had recently cleared his dues but the caller insisted that he had defaulted and later claimed there could be some error in updating his payment. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

    Software engineer duped of Rs3.75 lakh by fraudsters

    A 41-year-old software engineer, resident of Vishrantwadi who hails from Bihar, fell prey to online fraudsters who tricked him into downloading malware on his mobile phone and siphoned off 3.75 lakh from his bank account. The man realised he was conned after he got a transaction alert for nearly 3.75 lakh ( 3.50 lakh from his account and 25,000 from his mother's account).

  • Shiv Sena workers protest at MLA Tanaji Sawant’s office at Balaji nagar, Dhankawdi in Pune. (HT PHOTO)

    Protest continues in Pune against rebel Shiv Sena MLAs

    For the second consecutive day, protests continued in Pune against rebel Shiv Sena MLAs currently camping in Guwahati, Assam. Shiv Sena workers, claiming to be loyalists of party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray staged 'jode maro' (hit with footwear) protests at two places in the city – outside Balgandharva auditorium and in Kothrud – and raised slogans against the rebels. They were led by the Pune city unit president Gajanan Tharkude.

  • U.P. sets new record, 16 crore people fully vaccinated against Covid: Govt (PIC for representation)

    U.P. sets new record, 16 crore people fully vaccinated against Covid: Govt

    “Uttar Pradesh has achieved a major milestone by becoming the first state in India to fully vaccinate over 16 crore individuals,” the government said in a press statement on Sunday. Uttar Pradesh is followed by Maharashtra with 16.90 crore doses. The state is expected to cross 34-crore mark in total doses within this week, officials said.

  • Maharashtra rebel leader Eknath Shinde. (File image)

    Maha crisis: Sena initiates legal action against rebel MLAs, Shinde moves SC

    Amid the ongoing political crisis in the Maharashtra government fuelled by minister Eknath Shinde's rebellion, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said the party has initiated legal action and served notices to 16 rebel MLAs camping at a luxury hotel in BJP-ruled Assam. A day ago, 16 rebel MLAs, including Shinde, were issued a disqualification notice by the deputy speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly.

  • Lucknow NCB conducts cycle rally to spread awareness against drugs (ht photo)

    Lucknow NCB conducts cycle rally to spread awareness against drugs

    Narcotics Control Bureau, Lucknow Zonal Unit on Sunday organised a mega cycle rally and other events to mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The chief guest administered an oath against drug abuse to all the participants. He also flagged off the cycle rally. The event saw the participation of various groups, including Lucknow Cycle Club, Robinhood Army, Lucknow Gazelles, Pedal Yatri, Shrijan Shakti Welfare Society, Nawabi Riders and others.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, June 26, 2022