Grocery stores in Chandigarh run short of branded stock

Companies, distributors yet to streamline delivery system, ask shop owners to pick consignments

Grocery stores in Chandigarh run short of branded stock

Deepankar Sharda

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3

Local grocery store owners are facing a tough time in placing orders for company-made products as a majority of the companies and their distributors are yet to take permission to deliver the goods.

As per the practice, companies supply goods to local grocery shops through distributors. However, since the lockdown, a majority of the companies have failed to compile orders. In several cases, distributors are asking store owners to pick consignments on their own.

“Earlier, company representatives or distributors would approach us to take orders and get these delivered on our doorstep. Since the lockdown, several companies have not been able to follow the practice,” said a Sector 22-based shop owner.

“There are a few companies, which are supplying their products, but their distributors are not able to make deliveries. They are asking us to pick the consignments. How can we leave shops to pick the products?,” the shop owner said.

A majority of the warehouses are based in Mohali or Panchkula, which is another major hurdle in delivering products to local vendors.

“Distributors of multinational companies have their warehouses in Mohali or Panchkula. Since there are restrictions on vehicular movement, they ask us to pick the consignment,” said a store owner of Sector 46.

He said: “Though there is no dearth of supply of essential items, company-made food and drinks are among the worst hit. Some also allege that companies are not able to streamline production due to less manpower in their units. However, when it comes to supply of wheat flour and pulses, both local and company-made supply is normal. There will be delays most of the time, but the supply continues to pour in”.

He said: “Packed food, frozen food, dry fruits, ice-creams, ready-to-eat material and snacks, including instant noodles, branded biscuits and namkeen, are not getting delivered frequently to local vendors.”

He further said: “Some big players are to be blamed for the hindrance in the distribution process as they are holding back a majority of the stock to get better profit margin.”

Nestle seeks railway help

Reports suggest that Nestle, world’s premier food and milk processing company, is likely to send a huge stock of milk powder, instant noodles and sauce through the Railways to Assam. It’s for the first time that the company has requested the Railways to transport food items in the wake of the national lockdown and halt of trucks across the country.

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