Indian retail industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries due to the entry of several new players. It accounts for over 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and around 8% of the employment. India is the world’s fifth-largest global destination in the retail space. India ranked 73 in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2019. India is the world’s fifth-largest global destination in the retail space and ranked 63 in World Bank’s Doing Business 2020.
The sizeable middle class and nearly unexplored retail market in India are the main enticing factors for international retail behemoths seeking to move into newer markets, which will help the Indian retail business grow more quickly. The urban Indian consumer's purchasing power is increasing, and branded goods in categories like apparel, cosmetics, footwear, watches, beverages, food, and even jewellery are gradually evolving into business and leisure that are well-liked by the urban Indian consumer. The retail sector in India is expected to reach a whopping US$ 2 trillion in value by 2032, according to a recent analysis by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
India is the world’s fifth-largest global destination in the retail space. In FDI Confidence Index, India ranked 16 (after US, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Japan, France, Australia, Switzerland, and Italy).
As per Kearney Research, India’s retail industry is projected to grow at 9% over 2019-2030, from US$ 779 billion in 2019 to US$ 1,407 billion by 2026 and more than US$ 1.8 trillion by 2030. Revenue of India’s offline retailers, also known as brick and mortar (B&M) retailers, is expected to increase by Rs. 10,000-12,000 crore (US$ 1.39-2.77 billion) in FY20. India’s direct selling industry is expected to be valued at US$ 2.14 billion by the end of 2021. E-Retail has been a boon during the pandemic and according to a report by Bain & Company in association with Flipkart ‘How India Shops Online 2021’ the e-retail market is expected to grow to US$ 120-140 billion by FY26, increasing at approximately 25-30% p.a. over the next 5 years. Despite unprecedented challenges, the India consumption story is still robust. Driven by affluence, accessibility, awareness and attitude, household consumption stood at Rs. 130–140 trillion (US$ 1.63-1.75 trillion) in 2021.
India has the third-highest number of e-retail shoppers (only behind China, the US). The new-age logistics players are expected to deliver 2.5 billion Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) shipments by 2030. Online used car transaction penetration is expected to grow by 9x in the next 10 years.
The Retail sector in India has seen a lot of investments and developments in the recent past.
- India’s retail trading sector attracted US$ 4.11 billion FDIs between April 2000-June 2022.
- According to data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), India’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) based retail inflation stood at 6.77% YoY in October 2022.
- In November 2022, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. entered into a strategic partnership with the Galeries Lafayette to open luxury department stores and a dedicated e-commerce platform in India.
- In August 2022, Louis Philippe, India’s leading premium menswear brand from Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd., announced the launch of its outlet in Vadodara, Gujarat.
- In August 2022, Wipro Consumer announced the launch of traditional snacks and spices as it forays into packaged foods.
- In July 2022, Reliance Brands Limited (rbl) partnered with Maison Valentino to bring to India the most established Italian Maison de Couture.
- In June 2022, Reliance Brands Limited inks a JV with plastic legno spa to strengthen toy manufacturing ecosystem in India
- In June 2022, Aditya Birla Group formally launches TMRW – a Digital First ‘House of Brands’ venture in the Fashion & Lifestyle space
- In May 2022, Reliance brands limited (rbl) partnered with Tod’s S.p.A, the iconic Italian luxury brand to become the official retailer of the brand across all categories including footwear, handbags and accessories in the Indian market.
- In April 2022, Wipro Consumer Care inaugurated its factory in Telangana. It has invested in a state-of-the-art soap finishing line that runs on highest speed of 700 Nos of soap /minute.
- In FY 2021-22 (till 20th March 2022) total number of digital payment transactions volume stood at Rs. 8,193 crore (US$ 1.05 billion).
- In October 2022, UPI transactions were valued at Rs. 12.11 lakh crore (US$ 148.32 billion).
- In March 2022, Reliance Brands has bought the India franchisee rights and the current Sunglass Hut retail network from DLF Brands.
- Retail tech companies supporting the retail sector with services such as digital ledgers, inventory management, payments solutions, and tools for logistics and fulfillment are taking off in India. In the first nine months of 2021, investors pumped in US$ 843 million into 200 small and mid-sized retail technology companies, which is an additional 260% of capital compared to the entire 2020.
- In November 2021, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade announced that it is working on a regulatory compliance portal to minimize burdensome compliance processes between industries and the government.
- In October 2021, retailers in India increased by 14% compared with last year
- With the rising need for consumer goods in different sectors including consumer electronics and home appliances, many companies have invested in the Indian retail space in the past few months.
- In October 2021, Reliance announced plan to launch 7-Eleven Inc.’s convenience stores in India.
- In October 2021, Reliance Retail introduced Freshpik, a new experiential gourmet food store in India, to expand its grocery segment in the ultra-premium category.
- In October 2021, Plum, the direct-to-consumer beauty & personal care brand, announced plan to launch >50 offline stores across India (by 2023) to expand its customer base.
- Tanishq, Shoppers Stop and Bestseller India (sells fashion brands Vero Moda, ONLY and Jack & Jones) plan to add 10-35 stores in FY22.
The Government of India has taken various initiatives to improve the retail industry in India. Some of them are listed below:
- In April 2022, the government approved PLI scheme for textiles products for enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities and enhancing exports with an approved financial outlay of Rs. 10,683 crore (US$ 1.37 billion) over a five-year period.
- In October 2021, the RBI announced plans for a new framework for retail digital payments in offline mode to accelerate digital payment adoption in the country.
- In July 2021, the Andhra Pradesh government announced retail parks policy 2021-26, anticipating targeted retail investment of Rs. 5,000 crore (US$ 674.89 million) in the next five years.
- Government may change Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules in food processing in a bid to permit E-commerce companies and foreign retailers to sell Made in India consumer products.
- Government of India has allowed 100% FDI in online retail of goods and services through the automatic route, thereby providing clarity on the existing businesses of E-commerce companies operating in India.
- The Minister of MSME announced inclusion of retail and wholesale trades as MSMEs. Retail and wholesale trade will now get the benefit of priority sector lending under the RBI guidelines.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes in consumer preferences, habits, and attitudes over the past two years. This has a significant impact on how people buy and consume goods and services. Global retailers are now using cutting-edge business strategies to take advantage of new retail opportunities. Consumers no longer distinguish between offline and online consumption channels. Due to this, major companies are experimenting with different ways to design seamless retail experiences that are integrated across all channels. By utilising both established e-commerce platforms and traditional techniques, retailers are also experimenting with revenue models to improve their customer value offer.
E-commerce is expanding steadily in the country. Customers have the ever-increasing choice of products at the lowest rates. E-commerce is probably creating the biggest revolution in retail industry, and this trend is likely to continue in the years to come. Retailers should leverage digital retail channels (E-commerce), which would enable them to spend less money on real estate while reaching out to more customers in tier II and tier III cities. Online retail market in India is projected to reach US$ 350 billion by 2030 from an estimated US$ 55 billion in 2021, due to rising online shoppers in the country. Online penetration of retail is expected to reach 10.7% by 2024 versus 4.7% in 2019. Nevertheless, long-term outlook for the industry looks positive, supported by rising income, favourable demographics, entry of foreign players, and increasing urbanisation.
Note: Conversion rate used in August 2022, Rs. 1 = US$ 0.012
References: Media Reports, Press Releases, Deloitte report, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion website, Consumer Leads report by FICCI and Deloitte - October 2019