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Indian retailing sector : trends, opportunities & challenges



                                                                                           Lecturer, SES’s Y.T.S.B.M. 


Introduction :

In the era of buyers’ market customers are much eager to exercise their rights for the right types of goods and the service in proper time at right quality at right price.  The Indian retailing sector has been tapped this exact picture and came into operation for serving the customers in well manner. The modern retailing shopping mall, huge complex that offer shopping, entertainment, food & other related services under one roof.   The continuous  heavy pay and higher purchasing power, increase in no. of population, nuclear families ,change in fashion likes, dislikes and the demand in branded merchandise, the government policy toward the retailing sector and the red carpet for Foreign Direct Investment inviting the domestic and foreign giant global retailer in India. 

Indian Retailing Scenario :

Retailing; scientifically means to cut into pieces or to break in bulk.  It is the direct interference with the customers and the coordination of business activities from start to end. It is the integral part of the Marketing system. The way of making ‘Total Shopping’ has undergone the dramatic changes in terms of consumer buying behavior & ushering in revolution on shopping. A modern retailing has made an entry into the retail market in India as it has been studied in the form of busting shopping centers, multi store malls and huge complex those who are duly engaged in offering the shopping, entertainment and food all under the one roof.  There is no doubt there that the Indian Retailing Sector is booming. The No. of Large Global Giant Retailers like Wall Marts, Tesco, Carrefour, Kroger, Walgreens, Alidi ,CVS, 7 – Eleven, Lidi are in active.  While in case of Indian Giant Retailers just like Tata, Goenka, Reliance, Rajheja, Piramal, Biyani are already operation with the health & Beauty stores, books store , construction materials, low discount stores.  

 Retailing formats in India :

Sr. No

Retail Format

Main Features



The largest organized form of retailing. Located in metro city, of which ranges from 60,000 Sq.Ft to 7, 00,000 and above.  Ideal shopping with products, entertainment, food etc.  E.g Pantaloons, Shopper’s Stop, Pyramid etc


Discount Stores

Discount store or factory outlets offers on M.R.P.


Departmental Stores

Ranges from 20,000 – 50,000 Sq.Ft with various consumer needs dividing with cloths, home care, personal care, grocessaries etc


Hyper Mart/ Super Market

Further classified into mini super markets., which ranges form 3,500 to 5,000 Sq.Ft. Strong focus on Food & Grocessaries.


Convenience Stores

Small Stores 400 – 2,000 Sq.Ft located near to house. 


M.B.O (Multi Brand Outlet)

Offers several brands across single product category.  They are in busy market place and Metros.

 Recent Trends in Indian Retailing : 

  1. Indian Retailing is the rated the fifth most attractive retail market.
  2. Estimated to US $ 200 Billion market
  3. Ranked 2nd in global retail Development Index of 30 developing countries.
  4. The annual growth is estimated at 20 to 25 %
  5. Demographic features, growth in income, raising aspiration, food & Apparels are key drivers
  6. More successful cities in the South & West of India.
  7. Rural market emerging as a huge opportunity for retailerss

Chalenges before Indian Retailing :

The retailing  is divided into organized and unorganized sectors. Organized retail such supermarkets accounts for just 4% of the market as of 2008. Regulations prevent most foreign investment in retailing. Moreover, over thirty regulations such as “signboard licenses” and “anti-hoarding measures” may have to be complied before a store can open doors. There are taxes for moving goods to states, from states, and even within states. The retailing has seen transformation over the decades.  Of course there are certain challenges also.  These challenges are chalking out retailing marketing strategy, retailing Marketing planning, Marketing policy, Mall management, store space layout planning, security.  In addition to this, the other sides like customer satisfaction, ability to provide the right products at the right time at right quality at right price with considering the principles of social marketing are the major challenges before Indian Retailing sector.     

Opportunities before Indian Retailing :  

Traditionally, the retail industry in India comprise of large, medium and small grocery store and drugs stores which may be categorized as unorganized retail sector.  Most of the organized retailing in India has recently started and mainly concentrated in the metropolitan cities.  As there are certain challenges before Indian retailing there are also certain opportunities. As this is the service sector it has prominently acquired 80 % place. Key drivers in retailing E.g A large young population with the average age of 24 years, rising income, explosion of media. Change in consumer behavior, changing life style, effective supply chain. Technological impact nuclear families in urban areas & emerging opportunities in service sector are going to be act as a growth of retailing sector in India. As the socio economic structure in India change so did the field of retailing.  High volume malls, shopping outlets, super market and hypermarkets mushroomed requiring the application of modern management technique to run them efficiently and effectively.  Retail success in today’s competitive environment is all about getting the right product to right time at the lowest cost possible.  This needs the retail personnel to be adept the management tools and techniques.



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