- Meenakshi Kumar |
Affluent and aspirational urban Indian households are now more willing to spend on branded clothing and shoes. But there’s a still another segment that remains out of reach. Close to 67 per cent of India’s population still lives in villages, where spending huge sums on western clothing is hardly a priority.
Moreover India lags far behind other countries when it comes to retail infrastructure, with a shortfall of good quality malls and shopping spaces. Nearly 89 per cent of shopping in India still occurs at traditional neighborhood stores. The country ranks the lowest among the major markets when it comes to modernisation of the retail industry.
India’s much-talked about retail explosion is still a relatively new phenomenon, and largely urban. For years, Indians relied on traditional wear and local brands for their wardrobes. Of late, the likes of Zara, Gap, and H&M have brought in much more options, capitalising on the growing disposable incomes and changing tastes in big cities.
In 2015, per capita apparel consumption in India was just 45 dollars (Rs
2,894), compared to 172 dollars (Rs 11,063) in China. By 2025, India’s per
capita spend is expected to jump to 123 dollars (Rs 7,911) but it will not
be catching up with the rest of the world anytime soon. Apparel consumption
per capita will still be lower in 2025 than it was in 2015 in the other
BRIC nations and many of the world’s large developed economies.