Our Bureau

Mumbai, Oct. 20

Modern trade in India is accounting for 11 per cent of sales in the leading 23 metros, according to the latest 2006 ACNielsen/ShopperTrends report.

Supermarket stores grew by only 5 per cent during 2005 and now less than 20 per cent of household shoppers in key cities are regular supermarket shoppers. However, hypermarket has posted better growth with the number growing by 57 per cent from 2004 to 2005.

"When compared to China, India is 36 times less developed. But with one modern store for every 400,000 population, there is adequate scope of expansion in the country. With a lot of companies intending to invest in the Indian retail sector, we are likely to witness a retail boom. So it would be an interesting time to monitor the retail space in India," said Mr Sujit Das Munshi, Executive Director, Retail Management Service, ACNielsen South Asia.

Another trend when it comes to price sensitive Indian buyers is that it is convenience that takes them to a store rather than pricing. The other key factors that drive store preference are store accessibility, quality of products, loyalty programmes and product assortment. "The numbers of stores visited by consumers have not increased in the metros. This clearly shows that Indian consumers are evolving and are likely to settle for their favourite branded store instead of experimenting. The task that now lies ahead for marketers is to ensure that they manage to retain their customers with availability of good quality products, innovative promotions and world-class service within a store. A satisfied consumer can be a great brand ambassador and can help win new/loyal customers," said Mr Das Munshi.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 21, 2006)
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