Monday, September 24, 2007

Retail Options - India

The retail scenario in the country is changing rapidly in the last few years. A decade back the only retail option one had was the ubiquitous grocery shops which dotted the whole country. Today we have almost the full range of retail options which are available in any developed country, though their presence is not uniform through-out. But India would be perhaps one of the few countries where one would find all these portions together. For a real long time manufacturers in the country had a upper hand in the distribution network, but this is changing very fast. One assumption people make when they see the large format stores and Malls is that the grocery stores would disappear. As of today the share of organized retail is estimated to be anywhere between 2-6% and is expected to grow up to 15% in the next 10-15 years, thus the mom-n-pop store is going to remain an important player in the times to come.

With the variety of outlets one feels that there is a need to develop a classification . I have felt two clear criteria on which one can classify the retail shops in the country could be size and service. Within size we could have many combinations, but broadly we could have three sizes , the large format shops like the big bazaars and hyper marts would be the larger ones, medium size shops would be primarily be the super bazaar formats, both in the pop-n-mom as well as organized a category like Subhiska and last one would be the general grocery stores. In the terms of service the classification could be self-service versus full-service. In the case of the large format stores they would be primarily be self-service format and the grocery shops it would largely be serviced by the shop keeper. In between would be the superstores wherein at times either partial service would be provided or it would follow the service format of the small grocery shop.

Another way in which the retail options could be looked at could on the criteria of convenience , variety and experiential store types......



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