Are 24/7 Open Stores the New Normal in India’s Retail Industry?

As retail companies in India are rapidly changing with digital trends, the urban markets seem ready for a format where retail services are availed on the go and 24/7.


Even in 2021, India does not have a solid 24/7 open stores and shopping tradition. There are, however, some companies operating 24 hours a day, including the subsidiaries of big players such as Reliance Retail, Future Retail and DMart.

The latest Deloitte report states that in 2017, modern retail made up 9% of the total retail trade in India. By 2021, the new marketing rate is expected to reach 18% and move towards a consumer-friendly aspect rapidly.

24/7 Open Stores – Market and Competition

According to a release by the World Economic Forum, the Indian retail market is worth ~$1.3 trillion, and India will be the third-largest consumer market at $6 trillion by 2030. A 24-hour open store format in the future is an ample opportunity for the retail players to catch up in the vast market. A 24/7 open stores market usually makes sense in cities, large neighbourhoods or tourist destinations with great strength, and new businesses are tapping just this segment.

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For the 24-hour open stores' format, retail companies need to temper their expectations and restrict them to certain clusters.

Although convenience stores are not there just for monthly ration shopping, they meet an urgent need for FMCG products. For 24/7 open stores, the location should allow easy access and justify the unit economics of the store. The 24/7 formats could work in mixed-use developments, condominiums and office spaces. 

Will 24/7 Open Stores Work for India?

Recently, a subsidiary of Future Retail Limited announced plans to open 7-Eleven branded stores in India. 7-Eleven has more than 60,000 stores worldwide, which serve as a warehouse for fresh, packaged foods, beverages and products for daily use. 

In India, 7-Eleven will be urban-centric. With the development of modern commerce, India has great potential for this format of retail stores. According to a report published by Nielsen India on retail reform in India, sales of public supermarkets have increased by 22% in recent years. However, for 24-hour innovative stores to succeed, retailers will need to find unique suggestions to enhance the customer experience.

The New Shop – Modern India’s 24/7 Open Store

New Delhi based The New Shop is a brand that sells groceries and other FMCG goods 24 hours a day. The New Shop was launched in March 2019 by the sister-brother duo Astha and Charak Almast and their mutual friend Mani Dev Gyawali.

The company has stores in residential areas, train stations, bus stations, subways, fuel pumps and tourist attractions across five major Indian cities. The New Shop sells necessity goods such as groceries, snacks, ready meals, beverages, dairy products, pastries, personal care and hygiene products. 

24/7 Open Stores – A New Possibility for New Businesses in a Vast Market

In any case, the Indian urban market is ready for 24/7 open stores arrangement as life has become fast in Indian cities and customers need their lunch, breakfast, dinner and much more on the go. Traditionally, in the US and UK markets, such stores have been designed to meet the needs of urban customers, adapting local store products to increase local customers and footfall. In many markets, these stores also offer other services that allow consumers to pay for amenities like phone calls and utilities, along with shopping. 

To grab customers’ attention, start-ups in the retail world can run their businesses through franchises that understand the local consumer and the environment. Nevertheless, changes in consumer behaviour and lifestyle will drive the growth of 24-hour convenience stores – people’s retail needs are more spread out today.

Aakash Sharma
Aakash Sharma
Aakash writes on Startup Ecosystem, Policies, Legal and Regulatory aspects of business planning. An alumnus of Delhi University, he is assistant editor at Dutch Uncles.

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