Changing demographics, higher disposable income and improved agri-produce realisation have made smaller cities and rural areas the future hotbeds of growth. According to latest industry reports, retailers such as the Future Group, Shoppers Stop, ITC Wills Lifestyle and Spice Hotspot are trying every possible permutation and combination to make their presence felt in the smaller towns. “Disposable income in smaller towns has risen significantly in the recent past as these towns were largely unaffected by the economic slowdown.”says Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI). The rush towards smaller towns is mainly triggered by the availability of property at reasonable prices. Multi-brand Indian retail chain, Shoppers Stop, will open over 12 stores in smaller towns by this year end. “Before we enter smaller cities like Amritsar, Bhopal and Aurangabad, we already have loyalty customers there, courtesy people from those locations who have shopped in nearby metros,” says Vinay Bhatia, Vice-President (Marketing & Loyalty), Shoppers Stop. Similarly, India-based FMCG major, Future Group is planning to enter 10-12 towns every year starting 2011. “As we adopt a cluster approach for expansion, these cities will become more lucrative,” says Rakesh Biyani, CEO – Retail, Future Group.
Posted on: 22-9-2010