It’s time to gear up
Thebiggest development recently for all of us connected with retail one way or the other was the implementation by the government of the new FDI policy. Having been in cold storage (pardon the pun!) for a long time now, the new policy is finally a welcome move. Of course, the riders and conditions tucked away in between the lines have a lot of room for more thinking and in fact, there is a feeling among some connected with the industry that the government could have been more liberal, though I am not sure how many of my retailer friends will agree with that. For me personally this signifies an important change in the way brands and retailers will look at shopper experience. International best practices in shopper connect initiatives and in-store merchandising will make the local industry gear up. For the POP industry this is especially a time to gear up as MNC retail chains will either come with their own vendor/pop solution partners or will collaborate with the local industry. In either case a review of existing solutions, expertise and resources and the consequent adaptation of internationals standards is the need of the hour as competition, when it comes, will be pretty tough. Of course, it will take a while for the new entrants to establish and consolidate their position here, given the diversity and the many cultural and other dynamics in the country’s retail scenario. But as they say, it is better to be forearmed. It is also interesting to see how premium international brands approach their whole retail visibility plan in the Indian market. For example, the Swiss chocolate brand Toblerone without any ATL campaign to bolster it, has quietly gone about making a grand statement at retail recently with good creative planning and execution. Read all about it in our cover story this month. Read also about how home grown retailers such as Namdhari’s has succeeded in carving a unique niche for itself catering to the city shopper’s need for country fresh organic foods. Shoppers also bring to mind, the emergence of the new shopping medium, namely the internet which has revolutionised the way the new age consumer makes his or her shopping choices. Read all about it in our story on decoding the new offline-online shopper. And as always, we offer you more of how different brands have gone about their retail level campaigns and how more and more brands are looking at the retail format to offer unique services and product experiences to their customers.