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Retailing in India is unique, where traditional and modern whether in terms of retail channels, co-existed and thrived simultaneously. Majority of the metropolitan cities also exhibited the same trend. Preference of brands, like the preference of channel also varied with the consumer. Where home grown brands continued to be popular, international brands thrived equally as well.
Few elements set Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore apart
The uniqueness of the retailscape of each of these cities, lied in the demographics and income level. A city like Bangalore, which had a more corporate life, with higher floating population, preferred modern retailing channels. While Delhi and Mumbai had a good balance in terms of preference of traditional vs modern. In cities like Delhi and Mumbai the choice of the channel was dependent purely on the product and budget. Traditional retailing channels such as kirana stores for grocery or high streets shopping areas of these cities were frequented by the same set of consumers who would visit a mall or even a luxury brand outlet. For Mumbai however, due to the fast paced lives of the city, and city’s infamous traffic and rains, proximity of the retail outlets from the place of commute was of paramount importance. Which was again unique in its own way, and quite different from the other metropolitans. What defined the selection process was what the purpose of shopping was, and what the budget was, which again varied from consumer to consumer.
Apart from store based retailing, online channel grew across all the cities. Since all the leading brands had store based presence across these cities, the choice of channel was dependent on price and proximity to the outlet.
Key points to consider for Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore
Retailers entering any of these cities, need to keep in mind the fact, that the empowered millennial consumer base is not loyal towards a brand or channel, and they do not discriminate one channel or brand over the other. The consumers hold the bargaining power, and retailers, in an effort to continue being successful will need to be present across all the channels.
Our latest cities briefing in Retailing on Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata take a deep dive into the dynamics of retailing in these environments.
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Retailing in Mumbai