With the changing times and modern ideas, the retail industry has gone a step ahead and is now equated with a more structured and systematised organisation, hence the term organised retail has been in vogue. The term is matched with expectations of greater potential, better competition and numerous advantages for industry and society.
Since the last decade or so, there has been secure makeover of the retail landscape and the consumer’s shopping attitudes in India particularly. Witnessing the transformation, have been the old age kirana stores and old age corner retail shops which have now been developed into grocery superstores and retail showrooms.
With high disposable incomes, the purchasing power of people has increased and many more people are now willing to spend at their discretion today than ever before. This move has paved way for the growth of many Indian and International brands, as well as the emergence of modern retail chains and malls. The changing attitudes have been more relevant in larger cities where urbanisation is happening at a faster pace and where there is space available of mushrooming as most of these cities have surplus of mall space. The shifting of mindset is quite common with the growing generation who take malls for granted and is not too fond of conventional ideas of markets and retail spaces.
The impact however, is still very limited and trivial for the retail in India. In fact, the locations with larger concentration of current retail, the impact has been negative because of less developed space and surging costs. Nevertheless, the brunt of this growth is little understood, much less guided or planned for the long term. The tendency towards growing of corporatized modern retail has held many loud voices against it.
For the growth of better retail sector in India, we need regulatory frameworks along with proper space and infrastructure that can be easily integrated with the local economy. We need to consider how the economic balance of power is handled between retailers and their suppliers, to maintain healthy miscellany for the sake of the buyers.
Today, there is dire need to remodel the place of retail sector in India. It is imperative to modernise retail today and it is one of the most prime economic activity that touches the daily life of virtually everyone. It is however crucial to understand that modern retail should not mean expensive space for a handful of companies selling brands to an elite fraction of India’s population. It should not be treated as an entity where only large brands are whether India or international are invited. For a proper retail industry to exist in an economy we need to have brands and product offerings that meet the needs of the real Indian middle class and below, in an affordable and comprehensive way, in cities that flourish with retail at their heart as part of the social and economic infrastructure.