In India the modern retail is still in the brewing stage and the progressive transformation of the economy stands as a clear evidence of an evolution organized retail service. Although there are disruptions, but the overall impact would be positive which has been observed by experts on the first day of the two day retail summit - Emerging Retail Paradigm, which has been organized by the Southern Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In the inaugural address Mr Bhaskar Bhat, MD of Titan Industries Ltd, said, that the organized retail in India still will take time to touch all the households in the country. He stated that currently only 14 millions of the households have been successful in embracing the modern retail outlets as they are geographically concentrated.
He asserted that even from seven to eight years from now down the line the retail sector won’t boom even in few hundred towns in India. However, he added that this scenario would change and that the proximity to consumers will not be a long term competitive advantage for many retailers. Mr Bhat added, ‘Over a period, price, location and merchandising will diminish in importance. Only professionalism, process and people will make the winning difference.’ According to him the four key abilities which would require making retail brand successful are - scalability, profitability, respectability and sustainability.
The question of local retailers was discussed and he asserted that although the modern retailers clearly have the benefit of power and size, the local companies can adapt to their policies and survive. He said that the newcomers introduce branding strategies, management techniques, improved merchandising and others which the local retailers can emulate.
Mr. K Radhakrishan, CEO, hypermarkets, Reliance Retail, told that when 80% of the total investments in on the real estate, the supply chain efficiency is the only area which can be efficiently influenced for improved productivity in the retail business, even if the utility charges and manpower are not in the hands of retailers.
Mr. A Satish Kumar, Convenor of the summit and Managing Director, Henkel Ltd announced the theme of Summit as the country will witness a lot of mergers and acquisitions which would be happening in the industry, there will be small number of big players in the organised sector. But there will be traditional stores which would co-exist and survive with potential with them in the market place.
The session witnessed a visual merchandising presentation. While delivering his presentation on this Mr Ranju Mohan who is been the vice president (Marketing), Henkel Ltd, pointed out that how even minor changes in the store’s exterior and interior can impact the consumer perception. She added that a retail store is an effective communication medium between market and consumers and the manufacturers must work closely with retailers to bring in the difference of visual merchandising.