In recent years the nature of retailing has changed dramatically, as firms try to protect their positions in the market place. Many customers are no longer willing to spend as much time on shopping as they once did. Some sectors of retailing have become saturated, several retailers are operating under high levels of debt and number of retailers after running frequent “sales”, have found it difficult to maintain regular prices.
Retailers are adapting to*the shopping needs and time constraints of working women, dual earner households and the increased customer interest in quality and customer service:
A growing number of shopping malls are coming up all over the country. In north India; there seems to be a proliferation of such malls surrounding Delhi, in places like Gurgaon and Noida. In general they target higher income customers, with their prestigious speciality shops, restaurants and department stores.
Manufacturers are opening factory outlets to sell off surplus inventories and outdated merchandise. This forward vertical integration gives manufacturers greater control’ over distribution, than selling the merchandise to off price retailers. Mohini knitwear of Ludhiana (Punjab) and number of woolen and hosiery manufacturers set up their outlets in Delhi during winters.
Non Store Retailing
Non store retailing is accelerating at a faster rate than in store retailing. This includes direct marketing. For example, In-Home shopping, TV shopping and e-retailing etc.
Diversification of Offerings
Scrambled (unrelated products or services) merchandising is taking on a broader meaning and inter type competition among retailers is growing. For instance Citibank is organizing tourist trips and sending mail order catalogues to its credit card customers.