Growth of Retailing in India

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THE INDIAN RETAIL SCENE

India is the country having the most unorganized retail market. Traditionally it is a family livelihood, with their shop in the front and house at the back, while they run the retail business. More than 99% retailer function in less than 500 square feet of shopping space. Global retail consultants KSA Technopak have estimated that organized retailing in India is expected to touch Rs 35,000 crore in the year 2005-06. The Indian retail sector is estimated at around Rs 900,000 crore, of which the organized sector accounts for a mere 2 per cent indicating a huge potential market opportunity that is lying in the waiting for the consumer-savvy organized retailer.

Purchasing power of Indian urban consumer is growing and branded merchandise in categories like Apparels, Cosmetics, Shoes, Watches, Beverages, Food and even Jewellery, are slowly becoming lifestyle products that are widely accepted by the urban Indian consumer. Indian retailers need to advantage of this growth and aiming to grow, diversify and introduce new formats have to pay more attention to the brand building process. The emphasis here is on retail as a brand rather than retailers selling brands. The focus should be on branding the retail business itself. In their preparation to face fierce competitive pressure, Indian retailers must come to recognize the value of building their own stores as brands to reinforce their marketing positioning, to communicate quality as well as value for money. Sustainable competitive advantage will be dependent on translating core values combining products, image and reputation into a coherent retail brand strategy.

There is no doubt that the Indian retail scene is booming. A number of large corporate houses Tata, Raheja, Piramals, Goenka have already made their foray into this arena, with beauty and health stores, supermarkets, self-service music stores, newage book stores, every-day-low-price stores, computers and peripherals stores, office equipment stores and home/building construction stores. Today the organized players have attacked every retail category. The Indian retail scene has witnessed too many players in too short a time, crowding several categories without looking at their core competencies, or having a well thought out branding strategy. 

STRATEGIES, TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES

Retailing in India is gradually inching its way toward becoming the next boom industry. The whole concept of shopping has altered in terms of format and consumer buying behaviour, ushering in a revolution in shopping in India. Modern retail has entered India as seen in sprawling shopping centres, multi-storied malls and huge complexes offer shopping, entertainment and food all under one roof. The Indian retailing sector is at an inflexion point where the growth of organized retailing and growth in the consumption by the Indian population is going to take a higher growth trajectory. The Indian population is witnessing a significant change in its demographics. A large young working population with median age of 24 years, nuclear families in urban areas, along with increasing workingwomen population and emerging opportunities in the services sector are going to be the key growth drivers of the organized retail sector in India.

GROWTH OF RETAIL SECTOR IN INDIA

Retail and real estate are the two booming sectors of India in the present times. And if industry experts are to be believed, the prospects of both the sectors are mutually dependent on each other. Retail, one of India largest industries, has presently emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries of our times with several players entering the market. Accounting for over 10 per cent of the country GDP and around eight per cent of the employment retailing in India is gradually inching its way toward becoming the next boom industry. India is being seen as a potential goldmine for retail investors from over the world and latest research...
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