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India’s retail sector has undergone a rapid transformation over the
past decade and this process is expected to strengthen in coming
years with the rise in population, per capita income and urbanisation.
According to the provisional estimate by the Census of India
2011, the country’s total population has reached nearly 1.21 billion
compared to the 1.03 billion recorded in the previous census of 2001.
This tremendous growth in population has led to an unprecedented
scale of urbanisation, with the share of urban population increasing to
31.0% in 2011 from 28.0% in 2001.
According to the United Nations, India has the highest rate of change
in its urban population of all the BRIC nations and this figure is likely
to remain above 2.0% annually for the next three decades. Nearly
64% of the Indian population is in the working age group of 15-64
and 35.0% is relatively young, aged 15-34. As per IMF estimates, the
per capita GDP of the country was INR 46,221 per annum at end-
2011, a figure that is forecast to rise to INR 58,224 by end 2015.
With India’s growing per capita income and a rising middle class,
the retail sector has the potential to be the real growth engine of
the country’s economy. While demand for a superior shopping
experience is evident in the metropolitan cities, the Tier II and Tier III
towns are also rapidly acclimatising to the changing landscape of the
Indian retail market. Growing consumerism, changes in consumers’
tastes and preferences, and heightened brand consciousness has
been fast replacing traditional mom and pop stores with organised
retail malls that house lifestyle and luxury brands from national and
As part of its retail transformation, India has seen substantial
increase in mall space in recent years. Over the past decade, such
cities as NCR-Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have shown prominent
growth in retail stock, while Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and
many other Tier III towns are rapidly emerging as the retail growth
corridors of the next decade.
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01 January 2012