Essential food items are fast disappearing from retail shelves, as well as e-commerce platforms with supplies getting disrupted in some parts of the country due to the recent Covid-induced restrictions. Night curfews and a weekend lockdown implemented in many cities, including Mumbai, over the past few days and the partial lockdown in Maharashtra has impacted deliveries. Orders are being delivered with a lag of three to four days.
Earlier, deliveries happened on the same day or the following day across e-commerce platforms. Deliveries of essentials by online retail platforms like Bigbasket, Amazon and Flipkart are being delayed across cities including Mumbai. And deliveries of non-essentials are being suspended in Maharashtra with new curbs coming into effect from April 14 night.
While e-commerce platforms have struck out places like Mumbai from their non-essential delivery list, those of essentials could be getting impacted due to what appears to be a shortage of manpower and curbs on mobility. Though deliveries of essentials by e-commerce sites are not banned in Maharashtra, the confusion at the ground level sometimes adds to the problem.
Asserting that there is no worry on the supply side, he said, “There is much clarity this time. Things are smooth, even local administration knows and companies are better geared up.”
An ITC spokesperson told PTI, “ITC has taken all necessary steps to ensure enhanced availability of products for consumers across all channels. Over the period of the pandemic, we have developed strong operating policies and agile organisational structures for dealing with all types of market constraints and volatility.”
The spokesperson further told PTI that the company is confident that its robust supply chain system will ensure that all sales channels, including e-commerce are serviced adequately during this time. “We also now have a fully operational ITC e-store in six metro cities which can meet consumer requirements directly.”
A Marico spokesperson was quoted by PTI as saying that the company is better prepared this year and aims to continue its operations safely while employing stringent precautions to ensure both, member health and business continuity.
“We have proper systems and processes in place to deal with such scenarios and are adequately equipped to tackle any such challenges. We will continue innovating to cater to our consumers.”
CG Corp Global Managing Director Varun Chaudhary told PTI, “We have devised strategies and plan to aid manufacturing, supply chain agility and inventory replenishment during times of sudden disruptions.”
On the distribution side, Mayank Shah of Parle Products said online sales are expected to pick up after tapering off in the last two quarters of the previous fiscal.
“There was some sluggishness after growing around 3x during the first six months of last (fiscal) year. In the two quarters, there was still growth in e-commerce but there was certain tapering which was happening. Now this will pick up again,” he told PTI.