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Global Retailers in India: Moves, leaps & hurdles

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India’s enchantment with foreign brands is no secret but the wheel has now turned to a full circle. Today, it’s the foreign brands that are chasing the Indian consumers. India is poised to become the third largest consumer economy in the world by 2025, its retail market is expected to hit US$ 1.1 trillion by 2020, while e-commerce is expected to grow at 30-40 percent CAGR over the next three years. Clearly, no foreign brand or retailer with global aspirations can risk missing this exuberant market!

Global Retailers in India: Moves, Leaps & Hurdles
There are several indicators and developments that bolster their belief in India growth saga

The backdrop of global brands in India

India’s enchantment with foreign brands is well-known. Even decades ago, Indians – especially the middle-class and the well-heeled – were using a host of global brand products. Those were the days when exclusive brand outlets and department chains had yet to emerge and the imported and locally-made foreign brand merchandise was available through traditional shops only. Swiss food major Nestlé (best known for milk powder, Nescafe and Maggi) and Czech-born shoe brand ’s relationship with India dates back to the pre-independence era and is still going strong. Brands and products of US-based (Pond’s cream and Lifebuoy soap), Colgate-Palmolive (Colgate toothpaste), Procter & Gamble ( men’s grooming products and Vicks cold relief ointment, Coca-Cola (beverages) and Kraft Inc (Cadbury’s chocolates); UK’s (nourishment drink) and Morphy Richards (small appliances), Japan’s Sony and Dutch-born Philips (both consumer electronics) et al have been a part of Indian households for so many years. We are all aware that early 1990’s had opened up a whole new world of retail for Indians – something that only a few had experienced on their foreign travels. McDonald’s, , , et al began setting up stores in the country and their coming was not about the products alone – these brands also brought in with them the modern shopping formats and culture. This was also the time when India’s first mall Spencer’s Plaza opened in 1993 in Chennai. Several home-grown brands and retailers soon followed suit. The modern retail had arrived in India and has continued to progress, despite challenges and evolutionary changes. But, there is an interesting new twist to the tale – although Indians are still hung up on foreign labels; it’s now the foreign brands that are chasing them.

World’s Top Listed Retailers 2018*

Company

Country

Inditex Group

Spain

Fast Retailing

Japan

H&M

Sweden

USA

L Brands

USA

Ross Stores

USA

Nordstrom

USA

Tapestry

USA

Michael Kors Holdings

UK

Heilan Home

China

Christian

France

Nike

USA

Kering

France

Adidas

Germany

International

France

VF

USA

Switzerland

PVH

USA

Falabella

Chile

Macy’s

USA

Kohl’s

USA

Ceconomy

Germany

Lotte Shopping

South Korea

Next

UK

Marks & Spencer, UK

UK

JC Penny

UK

Mercuries & Associates

Taiwan

Walmart

USA

Target

USA

Costco Wholesale

US

Dollarama

Canada

Don Quijote Holdings

Japan

Seven & i Holdings

Japan

Tesco

UK

Kroger

USA

Couche Tard

Canada

Aeon

Japan

Carrefour

France

J Sainsbury

UK

Metro Group

Germany

Wesfarmers

Australia

Magnit

Russia

Home Depot

USA

Lowe’s

USA

Kingfisher

UK

Richmont

Switzerland

Luxottica Group

Italy

Bed Bath & Beyond

USA


* In no particular order | Source: Forbes