Anuj KejriwalAnuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Retail

  • Online retail is projected to grow to US$ 73 billion by 2022
  • Retail sector attracted US$ 147.40 million investments in FY18
  • Organised retail penetration expected to reach 10% in 2020 against current 7% 
  • Amazon & Alibaba are investing in offline stores – brick-and-mortar retail will survive the ‘online assault’

The Changing Dynamics of Indian Retail 

The Indian retail sector is on a faster roll than ever before. Rapid urbanization and digitization, rising disposable incomes and lifestyle changes – particularly of the middle-class – are acting as booster rockets for the Indian retail sector, which is projected to grow from US$ 672 billion in 2017 to US$ 1.3 trillion in 2020.

Over the last two decades, the Indian retail market has witnessed phenomenal changes, evolving rapidly from traditional shops to large multi-format stores in malls offering a global experience, and on to the highly tech-driven e-commerce model.

These changes have resulted in unprecedented growth in overall consumption with numbers suggesting that consumer expenditure in India will rise to US$ 3,600 billion by 2020 from US$ 1,824 billion in 2017.

Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Retail

The e-commerce revolution and the upsurge in digital technologies are fundamentally transforming shoppers’ expectations.

This transformation also has a major bearing on the function of brick-and-mortar stores, which now need to render more useful and entertaining customer experiences.

As trends advance globally, mall operators are forced to rethink and re-strategize as to how they must design, enable and operate their physical stores.

The Advent of ‘Smart’ Stores

In today’s digital era, physical stores are getting ‘smarter’ by using technologies like robotic intelligence, analytical data and consumer-centric platforms such as Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) to attract customers and give them an impactful experience.

By uniting conventional methods with key success elements of the digital ethos, brick-and-mortar retailers, in fact, have an advantage over e-commerce, as they can offer mall visitors an experience that vastly surpasses that of online shopping.

Information technology can be effectively used to tap into tech-savvy consumers’ predilections with appropriate tech-enabled in-shop ‘responses’.

Numbers suggest that consumer expenditure in India will rise to US$ 3,600 billion by 2020 from US$ 1,595 billion in 2016.

Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Retail

There is so much talk of the death of brick-and-mortar retail as a consequence of the aggressive advent of e-commerce into the country, when the fact is that shopping malls have just got started in India – and they are definitely here to stay.

As developers learn through trial and error and come up with more winning formulas for their malls, and as retailers get more into omnichannel selling, we will see the Great Indian Mall revolution spin into its next cycle of evolution.

Why the Indian Mall Story Rocks

Unlike ‘couch potato’ e-commerce shopping, malls offer an experience… a touch-and-feel benefit which online shopping cannot. Also, going to a mall becomes an outing for the family and friends, often coupled with a meal at the food court and a movie at the cineplex.

All this in air-conditioned comfort, escalators and lifts connecting everything to the parking below, and scrupulously cleaned sanitary facilities at all levels. The massive Indian middle class loves this experience and online retail is unlikely to put malls in the shade in India anytime soon.