Future retail has taken over the country, bringing

Future of Modern Retail
Trade in India

Retail in India is an
incredible assortment of forms and formats. The era of modern retail has taken
over the country, bringing in a wave of changes in the sea of format and
consumer buying behaviour.

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Indian retail is at an
ever evolving juncture; by the day, newer avenues of retailing are evolving,
giving retailers the opportunity to rejoice in the possibility of cracking new
frontiers. With the advancement, development, augmentation and modernisation of
the infrastructure as well as technology taking place at most major Indian
cities, the scope of retail has increased tenfold.

Technology has emerged as
the binding element for the cause of Omni-channel retail. Omni-channel
retailing essentially includes a seamless consumer experience through all the
available modes to reach the consumer. The channel extends to brick-and-mortar
stores, smartphone, computer, tablet, direct mail, television, et al. While
retailing finds its genesis in brick-and mortar stores, widely referred to as the offline shopping
channel, it is the other modes, i.e. the online channel that is witnessing the
revolution and altering the means to reach the consumer.

This has become possible
on account of progress at multiple levels. At one level are the devices for the
online shopping interface. At the next level is the improved internet
connectivity that has not just enabled online shopping, but has also increased
its experiential value. While online shopping made inroads in the country even
a decade ago, it could not take-off then on account of internet connectivity
issues of poor bandwidth compared to the developed markets. However, the cost
of internet connectivity has been reducing and internet speed and availability
are improving at an exceedingly pace.

The emergence
of technology and increased use of plastic money and mobile wallets have been
the key drivers behind the growth of omni-channel retailing. “With the
boundaries between offline and online stores blurring, omni-channel retailing
is an idea whose time has come,” said Aditya Sachdeva, director, retail at
Knight Frank India in a statement.

Department
store operators like Shoppers Stop Ltd, is launching mobile applications and
has also re-launched its online shopping portal. Brands like GAP, Woodland,
Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Only, etc. are following the same strategy.
Whereas there are also others like Swedish fast-fashion brand Hennes and
Mauritz (H&M) who have decided to focus on just offline stores right now.

The Indian retail industry
has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-growing industries accounting over 10% of the
country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and around 8% of the employment.
Globally, India is fifth-largest global destination in the retail space and is growing
at a rate of 12% per annum.

India’s retail market is
expected to grow at a CAGR of 10 per cent to US$ 1.6 trillion by 2026 from US$
641 billion in 2016. While the overall retail market is expected to grow at 12
per cent per annum, modern trade would expand twice as fast at 20 per cent per
annum and traditional trade at 10 percent.*

India has the most
promising market for retail expansion, supported by expanding economy, coupled
with booming consumption rates, urbanizing population, and growing middle
class.