The Changing Face of the Indian Retail Consumer

The face of the Indian retail consumer has undergone total transformation. They have come a long way from those days of yore, before the liberalization of the Indian economy, when saving was the mantra, and anything that diverts away from it was frowned upon, and looked at with dismay. Globalization and the media have brought the world closer, opening doors to cultures, trends and lifestyle that were considered taboo, alien and unknown to them. And with the spiraling Indian economy, the behavioral pattern of the average Indian consumer has seen a sea change.

Increasing disposable incomes, a favorable demography, the progressive growth in terms of working women and lifestyle changes with a high penetration of the media (that has brought the world closer to our lives) are the key drivers behind this spending spree of the nouveau global middle class Indian. As the salary package of skilled professionals rocket to a new high, with many perks and compensation coming in, the swelling double income middle class populace living in isolated nuclear families, have made the jump from ‘zero spending’ and ‘frugal living’ to one of ‘zero saving’ and ‘living life king size’.

As the wallet fattens, consumers gradually develop a predilection and penchant for luxury products, and branded goods. With the retail malls and outlets for branded goods mushrooming up everywhere, and fuelled by the new found confidence and attitude of ‘shop till you drop’, they slowly move from ‘kirana shopping’ to ‘mall hopping’, looking for quality, that was previously a non-issue. The rapid blitz of leading global brands and other domestic giants in the organized retail sector, offering goods and services that were earlier unavailable and the increasing awareness of the latest trends be it fashion, music or entertainment, the Indian consumer has gone global.

With the paradigm shift in India’s income pyramid, the behavior of the Indian retail consumer has dramatically undergone a changeover; it has moved from the old adage of saving to a new age attitude of spending.

Source by: Mark Stepen
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