With changing lifestyles of urban/semi-urban families it is time that organised retail be given a boost. Comment.
Gone are the days when unorganised and haphazard growth of retail markets, especially in edibles like vegetables, fruits, groceries and the like dotted the urban areas. However, the fears that planned or organised retail undertaken by big industrial houses and corporates would render the small traders and daily earners jobless, are also not totally unfounded. If the latter too improve their trading skills and offer quality products to their customers, they can compete and survive the new shopping/retail culture.
Despite a few hiccups here and there, organised retail has an excellent future, provided the all players are involved in a holistic manner. Its growth in the years to come would mean tremendous improvement in the quality and standards of the ‘food-value chain’. In order to boost the growth of organised retail it is also imperative that the industry invests in backward linkages.
The changing lifestyles of urban and semi-urban families, increasing literacy and the growing focus on health products is proving to be a big booster for organised retail. As far as stiff competition faced by domestic/small retailers is concerned, there is no doubt that in the long run competition would only improve the quality of products and set new standards for the industry. A time will come when small grocers will coordinate with big chains. India would certainly learn from China where both formats co-exist in a mutually profitable manner.