Friday, April 13, 2012: 06:58:23 AM

Retail Poll Feature

The Indian question in single brand retail

Respondents to Retailing360 survey unanimously believe that international retailers can come in independently into the market

In spite of single brand retail in India creating a major hue and cry, international retailers seem to have stuck to the traditional mode of entering the market. While many were expecting these brands to set up exclusive stores in the country without any collaboration with Indian companies, such stores are yet to be seen across the country. Many are however confident that these brands will sooner or later leverage the openness of the single brand retail route.

In a recent survey conducted by Retailing360, voters unanimously felt that international retailers will be able to work without tying up with Indian partners even though the single brand retail route had little use so far.
Brand expert and PR professional Enakshi Kundu explains, “In India, the market is such that retailers need to have a great insight into consumer behaviour and formulate strategies keeping in mind the specific demands of each region. This bears testimony to the immense diversity of the country and therefore poses a tricky challenge for a new entrant into the market, no matter how big the brand is.”
International brands recently entering or intending to enter India such as Starbucks and Walmart have all announced tie-ups with Indian biggies such as Bharti and Tata to leverage their massive market presence and brand images. Some however believe that the trend is likely to reverse as more companies follow.
According to brand consultant and creator-facilitator at theBARCODE, Caroline Fernandes, “India has arrived in the global retail industry and more and more brands are entering the market. Tie-ups are however necessary at the moment to understand the pulse of the Indian consumer.”
It is important to note that though these tie ups have been quite common in recent years, the companies will look to become more independent in the country in the long run. Also, some international brands are also likely to play a wait-and-watch game before stepping in through the single brand retail route.
Tias Chakraborty

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