Books Music and Gift Retail

The Composition and Size of the Sector:

This Segment is estimated at Rs 11,500 crores, of which the organized retail segment stands at Rs 1,450 crores.

Key Players on Book & Music Retail in India:

Land mark pioneered the concept of family centric multi product leisure stores, catering to the needs of all members of the family. Landmark offers a wide assortment of books, music, movies and stationery, superior service and value pricing an inviting and comfortable environment designed to encourage browsing.

Landmark has been the first retailer in the country to adopt several innovative technologies which enhances the customer experience at the store and also provides substantial efficiency to the back end. Presently, Landmark has 5 physical stores and an online store — Landmark is now a part of Trent.

Crossword is India’s leading bookstore chain, which started operations in the year 1992. Crossword currently has 31 stores has 31 stores across 10 cities in the country, in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune & Vadodara. It is now a fully owned subsidiary of Shoppers’ stop Limited.

Other players in this sector include Higginbothams, established in 1844 in Chennai, and Oxford Bookstore which only completely integrated its online and offline bookstores in the country with access to 6 million titles worldwide. www. provides special online shopping benefits and is the only of its kind, hosted out of India.

Retail Realities: Beyond Urban Boundaries

The Census of India defines rural as any habitation where the population density is less than 400 per sq km, and where at least 75 per cent of the male working population is engaged in agriculture and where there isn’t any municipality on board. The number of villages thus adds up to 638,691. According to the NCAER study, there are almost twice as many ‘lower middle income’ households in rural areas as in the urban areas. The Indian rural market with its vast size and demand base offers a huge opportunity that very few retailers would be willing to ignore. With 128 million households, the rural population is nearly population is nearly three times that of the urban. As a result of the growing affluence, fuelled by good monsoons and the increase in agricultural output to 200 million tones from 176 million tones in 1991, rural India has a large consuming class with 41 per cent of India’s middleclass and 58 per cent of the total disposable income.

There has been a spurt in the purchasing capacity of farmers now enjoying an increasing marketable surplus of farm produce. In addition, an estimated induction of Rs 140 billion in the rural sector through the government’s rural development schemes in the Seventh Plan and about Rs 300 billion in the Eighth Plan is also, believed to have significantly contributed to the rapid growth in demand. The high incomes combined with low cost of living in the villages have meant more money to spend.

Retailing is the final phase of the distribution channel and it is clear by now that it is availability and distribution that drive growth in rural Indian markets. Hence, retailing will be significant and will undergo greater organization and maturity in the rural markets as in the urban markets. Innovative retail models, which take into account the nuances of rural market will have to be invented and implemented. Some Indian firms have made a beginning; the e-choupal initiative launched by ITC is one such example.

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