Feature | Growth trend in retail sector; Bharat v/s India

The maha sales and the shop till you drop offers all happening at your nearest shopping center in Bareily. Yes you heard it right the big pocket consumer of the smaller town is demanding for the value experience and is also ready to pay for the cost.

As the smaller towns across the country emerge as important consumer markets more and more retail leaders are looking at exploring these terrains.

Adgully caught up with the leaders in the retail sector to understand more about this trend and emerging market scenario.

Shabnam Singhal, Director, Sirius Designs and Events, says, "Everybody needs to shop, its just a matter of exposing the person to a shopping centre format. People are aware about shopping centres in the smaller towns across the country too. Maybe they are not shopping in ZARA or Mango, shopping centres have an aspirational value and everybody would like to improve their lifestyles. So consumers across these markets also have urge to shop and there is certainly the need for convenience. Consumers today want a better life and better quality and it all boils down to aspirations."

Agreeing with Singhal, Shishir Shrivastava, CEO & Executive Director, Market City Resources Private Limited, adds, "Consumers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities have seen exponential growth in their disposable income. In fact many of these so called smaller towns across the country have demonstrated high per capita income. So as their potential to spend more also increases, they have also become very discerning. They have been exposed to brands and better shopping centres, so not just Indian brands have a huge market in these towns but also slowly and gradually international brands will seek these markets."

Adding a brand perspective Harish Bijoor Brand-expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc., adds, "There is a boom in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 center shopping aspirations. As marketers sense these opportunities Mall and retail center developments are growing in these areas as well. Tackling these centers is however a different ball-game altogether. The experience gained in the big Metros is a total waste. If one is planning to use the same and enter Tier 2/3 towns, things will just not work. It is important to understand that the aspirations, needs, wants and desires from brands in the smaller towns is different from that of the big cities."

"There is a greater degree of rationality in the purchase behavior of smaller town folk. It is therefore important for brands to invest in this consumer understanding before making forays," he adds.

Bijoor adds that the big opportunities are really not in the realm of food and beverage as much as in the realm of things to wear and things to flaunt. "Brands of every kind are welcome, provided they are not really in the realm of the basics," he adds.

Though opportunities in the smaller towns are inn abundance the retail sector will have to enter the market with a strong consumer understanding and potential experience. It will be interesting to see however how the retail sector changes the face of "Bharat" within our India. | By Prabha Hegde [prabha(at)adgully.com]

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