Thursday, September 18, 2008


In my previous blog post, I tried to analyse the impact of the retail boom on the local vendors. Now lets try and look at the consumers. When it comes to the consumers in India, the level of variation is extremely high. It is obvious that the retail industry has developed beyond limits in India. But is it catering to each and every customer from all walks of life? As I view it, these stores aim only at the middle and the upper strata of the urban society. As pointe out by jc as a comment on my earlier blog post, I would like to explain the situation.

It is agreed that to some extent these air – conditioned super markets do offer a good amount of deals and discounts increasing the options for a consumer. But then, a customer from the lower strata of the society trying to walk in to one such store is immediately stopped and shooed away. Although such incidents are still rare purely due to the fact that such consumers do not opt to shop from such stores. This is clearly one aspect that is never given heed to. Such stores clearly showcase the unjust divide in the country. The basic division of the population into the upper, middle and the lower strata itself shows the discrimination between the country's people. A person earning daily wages can easily afford the prices offered by these stores to some extent. But this is not being realised by other sections of the society leading to the ill treatment of such people.
In addition to this, the major target for these retail stores has been the urban India. This caters to only a niche market. Instead, if these stores had been set up in both rural as well as the urban areas, there would have been an equilibrium in development bringing in people in to these stores from the traditional as well as the modern society to experience a new kind of shopping.Although this growth in the retail industry has led to better economic conditions in the country, rural India is still being neglected.
All in all, people from all sections of the society together define the country's identity. Hence, they should not be neglected when it comes to any form of development or an initiative.


rahul said...

well richs (i hope u dnt mind calling me dat), u r right here also dat people from the lower strata r shooed away from such places, which shoud not be the case in any circumstances....but i beg to differ on the point that a daily earner can also get good deals in these stores, cz des stores run on principal of bulk selling, and a daily wage earner would just buy essential commodities, dat too in small amounts, but ya if dey can get good deals on just buying 1kg of onions or potato.....y not....let them also take adantage of this retail boom....

Atif said...

Very well said Richa...I fully agree to your point of view.
There is a dire need of taking the rural soceity into account, otherwise the day is not too far when only the elite class(refering to the daily wage earners of this blog..)would prosper,as well as emerge to have a hegemony over the seasonal earners(rural workers dependent on seasonal crops etc..)
Though I feel that this burgeoning of super markets to the rural areas should be a gradual process so that the rural resident as well as the super market owners can slowly adapt and accomodate for this change.

Richa Gupta said...

@ rahul

Hi Rahul, I agree with your point completely, and had emphasised on the same essential commodities you are talking about. Probably, the point did not come out as well in the post. My apoligies. Please keep the comments coming, it would only help me make the blog better.
(and no, I don't mind u calling me richs :) )

@ Atif

Yes, you are right in stating that the coming of age of the rual retail industry would take some time, but it is all the more essential, at least in terms of government initiatives.

Bhopale said...

Nice work! Keep blogging