COVID-19 isn't quite retail’s demonetization moment

The disruption of local stores and India’s lockdown are an opportunity for retail chains and e-commerce. But there are limits.

As mom-and-pop neighbourhood stores scaled down over the past few weeks and white-collar workers began working from homes, organized retail—from e-commerce to brick-and-mortar chains—has seen booming demand. Now that India has entered a nationwide lockdown and inter- and intra-city transportation has ground to a halt, the consumer’s dependence on these two channels is set to increase further.

We are in the middle of what has widely been construed the “demonetization moment” for organized retail, especially e-commerce. (The Indian government’s shock decision to invalidate 86% of currency in circulation in November 2016 was a turning point for digital payments companies.) But …


Saif Iqbal

Saif is a writer and co-founder at The Morning Context. He has worked across technology, strategy and business functions during his career. Saif has extensive experience in e-commerce, working with companies such as Snapdeal and LG Electronics in India. He currently works at an edtech startup in Canada. At The Morning Context, he focuses on e-commerce and retail and writes the stories that matter.