Author: Derek Miller, Vice President, International, IHA
India’s retail market continues to develop with shopping malls, department stores and hypermarkets being opened on a regular basis. Major corporations are aggressively pushing ahead into the retail sector in order to build retail brands and to capture market share through new concepts, formats and joint ventures:
- Bharti, an Indian telecommunications giant, has teamed with Wal-Mart to open hypermarkets under the name Best Price.
- Tata / Trent, an Indian conglomerate, has partnered with Tesco and Woolworths Australia to open hypermarkets and electronics specialty formats, under the names Star Bazaar and Croma, respectively. These retail formats are in addition to Tata-owned department stores Westside.
- Reliance, a major Indian chemical company, has teamed with Marks & Spencer, Office Depot and Apple. Retail brands now open include Marks & Spencer, iStore, Reliance Trends and Reliance Fresh.
- Future Group / Pantaloons, India’s largest retailer, is reportedly close to an agreement with Carrefour. Retail brands now open include Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Home Solutions, Home Town and eZone.
- Shoppers Stop, an Indian department store, works with Waitrose, a British grocer, on upscale food offerings. Shoppers operates under the retail banners Shoppers Stop, Home Stop and HyperCity.
This brief retail overview shows both the economic and know-how power currently behind India’s retail development. In late January, a full report on Indian retailers and distributors with buyer contact details will be made available to Housewares Export Council (HECNA) members
Other interesting news coming out of the region today includes the growth of the 4-½ year-old Retailers Association India (RAI), which now has over 400 active retail members. RAI recently stated that, in addition to low costs and location expansion, an important factor in future success for Indian retailers is product differentiation to showcase new products and services that meet the needs of India’s growing consumer class.
Ishanya , located in Pune near Mumbai, is India’s only design center – retail mall that focuses specifically on the home, featuring kitchen, dining, bath and home décor retailers. Mall anchors include HomeTown (a cross between a Home Depot and an Ikea) and Croma (a home and consumer electrics retailer).
WealthTree Partners is a Mumbai-based consultancy that assists foreign companies establish a presence in India. Satellite offices are located in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon and Pune. Working with foreign companies for their first six to 12 months, WealthTree provides a variety of services including feasibility & market entry studies as well as distributor searches. For more information about WealthTree and their services, contact C. Trina.
U.S. companies interested in learning more about selling to Indian retail and distribution are invited to contact Mr. Aliasgar Motiwala, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service, Mumbai. For a small fee, his office offers a wide range of consulting services.