Home Retail Indian Retail Industry: Growth, Trends, Challenges, and Opportunity

Indian Retail Industry: Growth, Trends, Challenges, and Opportunity


Retail industry in India is undoubtingly one of the fastest growing retail industry in the world. It is the largest among all industries accounting to 10 per cent of the country GDP and employs around 8 per cent of the workforce. India has seen a drastic shopping revolution in terms of format and consumer buying behaviour. From shopping centers to multi-storied malls to huge complexes offering shopping, entertainment and food all under one roof and it is because of this trend that the retail industry is witnessing a revolution as many new format markets like hypermarkets, supermarkets, departmental stores have made their way in the market.

Indian Retail Industry: Growth, Trends, Challenges, and Opportunity
India’s retail sector is witnessing accelerated growth, with retail development taking place not just in major cities and metros, but also in Tier-II and Tier-III cities

India has also been world’s top sourcing destination in 2016-17 and the share in this category is 55 per cent. In India, a major chunk of the middle class and also the untapped market of retail is an attractive force for all the retail giants from across the globe. Our working population with a median age of 24 years, along with emerging opportunities in the retail sector is one of the major factors of the growth in the retail industry of India. As many new businessmen are entering the industry, there is expected to be a growth in the retail sector.

India is still largely an unorganized retail market where maximum retailers operate in less than 500 sq. ft. of space. The total retail industry is estimated at 9 lakh crore of which the organized sector accounts for a mere 9 per cent indicating a huge potential market opportunity that is lying in the waiting for the consumer-savvy organized retailer. Today, the organized players have ventured into each and every retail category.

India’s retail sector is witnessing accelerated growth, with retail development taking place not just in major cities and metros, but also in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. The purchasing power of Indian consumer is growing in categories like apparels, cosmetics, shoes, watches, beverages, food and even jewelry.


Due to the large scope of business and high growth potential, India is attracting investors across the globe. In FDI Confidence Index, India ranks 8th (after U.S., Germany, China, UK, Canada, Japan, and France).

India is all set to gain from the latest FDI policy in retail.

There has been an increase in purchasing power of the consumer due to easy availability of credit which has given a push to higher value items and encouraged repeated purchases. There has been a clear shift in consumer mindset in buying. They are more educated and well informed. They have become more experimenting and are willing to try and buy products which they haven’t been used as yet. The expansion of middle class has led to higher purchases of luxury products and brand consciousness. Significant growth in discretionary income and changing lifestyles are among the major growth drivers of Indian retail industry.

With GST taking its shape, it has helped the retailers simplify its tax structure. This will lead to better supply chain structure, better cash flows, pricing, and profitability.


Rural markets show high growth potential if tapped with the right set of products and pricing. With increasing investments in infrastructure, connectivity to such towns is now becoming easier. This helps the retailer to increase reach in such high potential markets.

The private label space in the organized Indian retail industry has begun experiencing an increased level of activity. The share of private label strategy in the US and the UK markets is 19 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively, while its share in India is just 6 percent. Thus this gives a tremendous opportunity for the homegrown label to expand its base.

India‘s price competitiveness attracts large retail players to use it as a sourcing base.

Many international retailers are increasing their sourcing from India and are moving from third-party buying offices to establishing their own wholly-owned/wholly-managed sourcing and buying offices


Although retail industry in India is on a growing track not everyone has tasted success. Due to various diversities in the state policies and local influences, it becomes a larger hindrance for the retail to expand rapidly.

The high cost of real estate, deep discounting from e-tailers, non-availability of skilled labor in rural market are a few challenges that may hinder the growth of retail industry. Innovative concepts and model shall survive the test of time and investment.


Indian retail industry is no doubt one of the largest and fastest growing industries. Like most developed countries, India’s growth also relies on growth of its retail industry. India is becoming a dynamic market with many international brands entering India to capitalize on the growing consumption pattern shown by the country. With right reforms and government initiatives, India retail industry is surely inching its way towards becoming the next boom industry. The future of the retail industry looks promising, as more and more Government policies have come into play, making it favourable to do business.