Factors facilitating spread of retail chains

Consumers find several advantages in the new retail formats.

Quality Products and Lower prices:

The first advantage that consumers find in the new formats is the availability of quality products at lower prices. These formats can offer this advantage mainly due to the economies of scale.

Improved Shopping standards:

Improved shopping standards are the next major advantage that consumers find in the new format. It can be said that that the advent of the new formats is a direct response to the demand of the urban middle class consumers for improved shopping standards. In recent years, consumers have started seeking greater convenience, better service, increased choice, better quality, attractive prices and classy ambience in shopping. In response to- this demand, entrepreneurs have been setting up retail stores of high sophistication. Since it makes sense to set up these stores as a chain, several entrepreneurs have voted for the retail chain. A chain provides better economies of scale, which in turn, enables the entrepreneurs to offer competitive prices to customers.

Convenient Stocking/Display:

Convenient stocking/display of products is another feature, which consumers now seek in the retail stores, and, in the new formats, this is evident in abundance. The stores use smart shop display as the main device for hooking customers. Stocking products section-by-section based on purchase patterns, and placing them in easy reach of customers is an integral part of the display device. The result: Abundant shopping convenience.

The method of stocking and display includes special efforts for pulling customers who are prone to impulse purchases. Often, these stores combine fast moving items and impulse purchase items. Market research has revealed that sales go up if fast moving items and impulse purchase items are combined.

Shopping is blended with Entertainment:

Finally, mega stores and shopping malls, with air-conditioned shop floors, channel music, attractive displays for products, pleasant shop assistants, coffee shops and food courts, amusement facilities, etc., making shopping an entertainment and a leisure activity, attracting consumers.

Spread of Shopping Malls:

Spread of shopping malls is another significant trend in the Indian retailing scene. Malls inspire fashion-based shopping, as distinct from the need-based shopping inspired by super-markets and discount stores. Malls seek to position themselves as destination shopping location.

Malls that are already well established in the country include Spencer Plaza in Chennai, Big Bazaar, Hypercity Market, Crossroads in Mumbai and Ansal Plaza in Delhi. Number One Shoppers’ City, Kolkata, and The Sahara Mall, Gurgaon, are the ones that will be added to the list soon.