A chain retailer or a corporate retail chain

When two or more outlets are under a common ownership, it is called a retail chain. These stores are characterized by similarity in merchandise offered to the consumer, ambience, advertising and promotions. Examples in India include Wills sports (ITC), Louis Phillippe, Van Huesen, (Madura Garments), Arrow (Arvind Mills) and department stores like Globus, Westside and Shopper’s Shop Food world, Music world, Planet M etc are also examples of chain retailers.

The biggest advantage is that a chain retailer has the bargaining power that he can have with the suppliers. Cost effectiveness is also possible in advertising and promotions. Since chains expand across cities and regions, it may not always be possible to take into account regional, or rural and urban preferences. The ability to give attention to each of the stores becomes fairly restricted.


A franchise is a contractual agreement between the franchise and the franchise, allowing the franchisee to conduct a business under an established name as per a particular business format in return for a fee or compensation. Franchising may be of the following types:

1) A product or trade mark franchise – where the franchisee sells the products of the franchiser and / or operates under the franchiser’s name. Archie’s stores, which come up across India, are an example of product franchising.
2) A business format franchise – McDonald’s is perhaps one of the best examples of business format franchising.

Under both the mentioned methods of franchising, the franchise may be for a single store, a multiple number of stores or for a region or country. While outlets of Van Heusen, Louis Philippe, Arrow and Benetton are examples of individual franchises in India, McDonald’s operates at the level of two regional franchises, Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Subway are also franchises operating in India.

Leased departments:

These are also termed as shop in shops. When a section of a department in a retail store is leased / rented to an outside party, it is termed as a leased department. A leased department within stores is a good method available to the retailer for expanding his product offering to the customers. In India, many large department stores operate their perfumes and cosmetics counters in this manner. A new trend emerging in Indian retail is that of larger retail chains setting up smaller retail outlets or counters in high traffic areas like malls, department stores, multiplexes and public places like airports and railway stations. These stores display only fraction of the merchandise/products sold in the anchor stores. Their main aim is making products available to the consumer near his place of work or home.

Consumer co-operatives:

Consumer Co-operatives aim at providing essential commodities at reasonable prices. As a national policy, consumer cooperatives have been encouraged and developed as a democratic institution, owned, managed and controlled by its members, for protection of the interest of the common consumers. The presence of consumer cooperatives has been working as a force of market for the common man. To some extent, it has been successful in protecting the interest of the common man and in stabilizing the prices. Examples of co-operatives in India are the Sahakari Bhandars and Apna Bazaar shops in Mumbai and Super Bazaar in Delhi.

Over the years, consumer cooperatives have developed a creditable network of four-tier structure with 25,750 primary stores, along with a number of branches at the grass root level, 676 wholesale / central stores with 6,331 branches and 29 consumer federations, including some composite federations and the NCCF at the National Apex.