Spread of organised retailing

Organised retailing is spreading and making its presence felt in different parts of the country. The trend in grocery retailing, however, has been slightly different with a growth concentration in the South.

However, the Mecca of retailing is undoubtedly Chennai. What was considered a `traditional', conservative' and `cost-conscious' market, proved to be the home ground for most of the successful retail names - FoodWorld, Music World, Health and Glow, Vitan, Subhiksha and Viveks -to name a few.

The choice of Chennai as the `retail capital' has surprised many, but a variety of factors acted in its favour. Chennai, in spite of being a rapidly growing metropolis offers reasonable real estate prices, one of the most critical elements for the industry. Chennai has been witnessing a high industrial growth and increasing presence of the MNCs, both in the IT sector as well as outside it. The industrial boom has led to the emergence of new residential areas with aggregation of professionals as well as a rapid increase in the number of `double-income' households and growth of the nouveau riche/upper middle class with increased purchasing power. This has been combined with the increasing need for touch and feel shopping (especially for the large migrant population). All the factors have acted favourably in nurturing the industry.

- Contributed by Nithin Narayanan