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Indian Retail Industry Analysis

November, 2020

Indian retail industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. As per Forrester Research, in 2020, India's retail sector was estimated at US$ 883 billion, with grocery retail accounting for US$ 608 billion. The market is projected to reach ~US$ 1.3 trillion by 2024. India ranked 63 in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 publication. India ranked 73 in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2019. India’s direct selling industry recorded sales of US$ 2.47 billion in 2019, improving its rank to 15 from 19 a year before. Consumer spending in India increased to US$ 245.16 billion in the third quarter of 2020 from US$ 192.94 billion in the second quarter of 2020.

India is the fifth-largest and preferred retail destination globally. The country is among the highest in the world in terms of per capita retail store availability. India’s retail sector is experiencing exponential growth with retail development taking place not just in major cities and metros, but also in tier II and III cities. Healthy economic growth, changing demographic profile, increasing disposable income, urbanisation, changing consumer tastes and preferences are some of the factors driving growth in the organised retail market in India.

Indian online grocery market is estimated to exceed sales of about Rs. 22,500 crore (US$ 3.19 billion) in 2020, witnessing a significant jump of 76% over the previous year.

According to India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra), domestic organised food and grocery retailers are expected to increase by 10% YoY in FY22, with organised retailers and e-commerce likely to benefit from the ongoing demand for essentials.

India’s population is taking to online retail big way. By 2024, India's e-commerce industry is expected to increase by 84% to US$ 111 billion, driven by mobile shopping, which is projected to grow at 21% annually over the next four years. In 2020, the most common payment methods online were digital wallets (40%), followed by credit cards (15%) and debit cards (15%). Online penetration of retail is expected to reach 10.7% by 2024 versus 4.7% in 2019.

In March 2021, Big Bazaar announced expansion into the instant home delivery service, aiming to offer 2-hour delivery guarantee service; it has started the service in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

After an unprecedented decline of 19% in the January-March 2020 quarter, the FMCG industry displayed signs of recovery in the July-September 2020 quarter with a y-o-y growth of 1.6%. The growth witnessed in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector was also a reflection of positivity recorded in the overall macroeconomic scenario amid opening of the economy and easing of lockdown restrictions.

India is expected to become the world's third-largest consumer economy, reaching Rs. 27.95 lakh crore (US$ 400 billion) in consumption by 2025. ^Increasing participation from foreign and private players has given a boost to Indian retail industry. India’s price competitiveness attracts large retail players to use it as a sourcing base. Global retailers such as Walmart, GAP, Tesco and JC Penney are increasing their sourcing from India and are moving from third-party buying offices to establishing their own wholly owned/wholly managed sourcing and buying offices in India.

The Government of India has introduced reforms to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail industry. The Government has approved 51% FDI in multi-brand retail and 100% FDI in single-brand retail under the automatic route, which is expected to give a boost to Ease of Doing Business and Make in India schemes, with plans to allow 100% FDI in E-commerce. Cumulative FDI inflows in the retail sector stood at US$ 3.44 billion between April 2000 and December 2020. India’s retail sector attracted US$ 6.2 billion from various private equity and venture capital funds in 2020.

According to the Ground Zero Series findings of the consulting firm RedSeer, the retail sector is expected to recover ~80% of pre-Covid revenue (amounting to US$ 780 billion) by end-2020.

India will become a favourable market for fashion retailers on the back of a large young adult consumer base, increasing disposable income and relaxed FDI norms.

Many fintech companies are competing for their presence in local stores. In May 2020, Paytm announced a US$ 1 billion loyalty programme and launched online ledger services for kirana stores in India. Other fintech companies such as PayNearby, Phonepe, BharatPe and Mswipe introduced different services for small shop owners, enabling better digital payments and delivery options at these stores. For example, Amazon partnered with local stores to provide a platform for many small shops and merchants on its Amazon marketplace. While, Walmart has its own network of 28 ‘best-priced’ stores serving local stores across the country.

Flipkart Wholesale, a digital B2B marketplace, announced strengthening of its commitment towards growth and prosperity of kiranas and MSMEs by boosting supply chain infrastructure and enhancing employment opportunities. During the online festive sale in October 2020, the Indian e-commerce firms—Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra and Snapdeal—together sold goods worth US$ 3.1 billion. Online retail rose to record high during the festive season in October-November 2020 with smartphone sales accounting for 53% of the total sales.

 Note: ^ - According to a study by Boston Consulting Group

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