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Retailing Sector Analysis Report 

[Key Points | Financial Year '14 | Prospects | Sector Do's and dont's]

  • India is the 5th largest retail market in the world. The country ranks fourth among the surveyed 30 countries in terms of global retail development. The current market size of Indian retail industry is about US$ 520 bn (Source: IBEF). Retail growth of 14% to 15% per year is expected through 2015. By 2018, the Indian retail sector is likely to grow at a CAGR of 13% to reach a size of US$ 950 bn. Retailing has played a major role the world over in increasing productivity across a wide range of consumer goods and services. In the developed countries, the organised retail industry accounts for almost 80% of the total retail trade. In contrast, in India organised retail trade accounts for merely 8-10% of the total retail trade. This highlights a lot of scope for further penetration of organized retail in India.
  • The sector can be broadly divided into two segments: Value retailing, which is typically a low margin-high volume business (primarily food and groceries) and Lifestyle retailing, a high margin-low volume business (apparel, footwear, etc). The sector is further divided into various categories, depending on the types of products offered. Food dominates market consumption with 60% share followed by fashion. The relatively low contribution of other categories indicates opportunity for organised retail growth in these segments, especially with India being one of the world's youngest markets.
  • Transition from traditional retail to organised retail is taking place due to changing consumer expectations, growing middle class, higher disposable income, preference for luxury goods, and change in the demographic mix, etc. The convenience of shopping with multiplicity of choice under one roof (Shop-in-Shop), and the increase of mall culture etc. are factors appreciated by the new generation. These factors are expected to drive organized retail growth in India over the long run.

How to Research the Retailing Sector (Key Points)

  • Supply
  • Players are now moving to Tier II and Tier III cities to increase penetration and explore untapped markets as Tier I cities have been explored enough and have reached a saturation level.
  • Demand
  • Healthy economic growth, changing demographic profile, increasing disposable incomes, changing consumer tastes and preferences are some of the key factors that are driving and will continue to drive growth in the organised retail market in India.
  • Barriers to entry
  • Reforms by India in opening up its economy have greatly improved trade prospects, but major barriers still exist such as regulatory issues, supply chain complexities, inefficient infrastructure, and automatic approval not being allowed for foreign investment in retail. However, some of these issues may be tackled with allowance of FDI in single and multi-brand retail.
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • The bargaining power of suppliers varies depending upon the target segment, the format followed, and products on offer. The unorganised sector has a dominant position, still contributing about 90% to the total retail market. There are few players who enjoy an edge over others on account of being established players and enjoying brand distinction. Since it is a capital intensive industry, access to capital also plays an important part for expansion in the space.
  • Bargaining power of customers
  • High due to wide availability of choice. With FDI coming in, this is expected to become stronger.
  • Competition
  • High. Competition is characterised by many factors, including assortment, products, price, quality, service, location, reputation, credit and availability of retail space etc. New entrants (business houses and international players) including foreign players are expected to further intensify the competition.
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    Financial Year '14

    • During FY14, the economic backdrop was a key factor impacting the performance of retail companies across various sub sectors, including that of organized retail. Consumer sentiment and business confidence continued to be subdued during the year with economic growth decelerating further. This is attributable mainly to weakening industrial growth in the context of tight monetary policy followed by the RBI through most of the year, political & policy stability related concerns and uncertainty in the global economy.
    • Inflation also was an important concern area. Persistent high inflation and inflation expectations meant that the RBI was compelled to maintain the benchmark interest rates at a much higher level than what would be needed to encourage business and economic sentiment. In the recent quarters consumer sentiment has been varied-with apparel retailers reporting an improving trend but most other retail formats still witnessing muted off take.

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    • Retail industry has been on a growth trajectory over the past few years. The industry is expected to be worth US$ 1.3 trillion by 2020. Of this, organized retail is expected to grow at a rate of 25% p.a. A significant new trend emerging in retail sector is the increase in sales during discount seasons. It has been observed of late that sales numbers in discount seasons are significantly higher than at other times. This is prompting retailers to start discounts earlier and have longer than usual sale season. Also, concepts such as online retailing and direct selling are becoming increasingly popular in India thereby boosting growth of retail sector.
    • Another crucial structural change is expected to come in the form of implementation of FDI in multi-brand retail. The industry players are strongly in favour of entry of foreign retailers into the country. This will help them in funding their operations and expansion plans. The expertise and experience brought in by the foreign retailers will also improve the way the Indian retailers operate. It is expected to bring in more efficiency in the supply chain functions of retailers.
    • However, fear of loss of business for kiranawalas is still a cause of concern and is posing hurdles in FDI implementation across country. Ironically, even though it has been some time since the government opened the door for FDI in multi-brand retail, international retailers have not yet shown wholehearted interest in coming to India yet. Hurdles such as requirement of clearance from individual states, mandate of 30% local outsourcing of materials from micro and small enterprises are keeping the investors away from India.
    • Retail is mainly a volume game, (especially value retailing). Going forward, with the competition intensifying and the costs scaling up, the players who are able to cater to the needs of the consumers and grow volumes by ensuring footfalls will have a competitive advantage. At the same time competition, high real estate cost, scarcity of skilled manpower and lack of infrastructure are some of the hurdles yet to be tackled fully by retailers.
    • Luxury retailing is gaining importance in India. This includes fragrances, gourmet retailing, accessories, and jewellery among many others. The Indian consumer is ready to splurge on luxury items and is increasingly doing so. The Indian luxury market is expected to grow at a rate of 25% per annum. This will make India the 12th largest luxury retail market in the world.
    • Rural retailing is another area of prime focus for many retailers. Rural India accounts for 2/5th of the total consumption in India. Thus, the industry players do not want to be left out and are devising strategies especially for the rural consumer. However, players should be ready to face some imminent challenges in rural area. For instance, competition from local mom and pop stores as they sell on credit, logistics hurdles due to bad infrastructure in rural areas, higher inventory expenses and different buying preferences amongst rural population.

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