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Retailing In India

Retailing in India is one of the pillars of its economy and accounts for 14 to 15 percent of its GDP.[1][2] The Indian retail market is estimated to be US$ 450 billion and one of the top five retail markets in the world by economic value. India is one of the fastest growing retail market in the world, with 1.2 billion people.[3][4]

India's retailing industry is essentially owner manned small shops. In 2010, larger format convenience stores and supermarkets accounted for about 4 percent of the industry, and these were present only in large urban centers. India's retail and logistics industry employs about 40 million Indians (3.3% of Indian population).

Until 2011, Indian central government denied foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, forbidding foreign groups from any ownership in supermarkets, convenience stores or any retail outlets. Even single-brand retail was limited to 51% ownership and a bureaucratic process.

In November 2011, India's central government announced retail reforms for both multi-brand stores and single-brand stores. These market reforms paved the way for retail innovation and competition with multi-brand retailers such as Walmart, Carrefour and Tesco, as well single brand majors such as IKEA, Nike, and Apple.[5] The announcement sparked intense activism, both in opposition and in support of the reforms. In December 2011, under pressure from the opposition, Indian government placed the retail reforms on hold till it reaches a consensus.[6]

In January 2012, India approved reforms for single-brand stores welcoming anyone in the world to innovate in Indian retail market with 100% ownership, but imposed the requirement that the single brand retailer source 30 percent of its goods from India. Indian government continues the hold on retail reforms for multi-brand stores.[7]

In June 2012, IKEA announced it has applied for permission to invest $1.9 billion in India and set up 25 retail stores. Fitch believes that the 30 percent requirement is likely to significantly delay if not prevent most single brand majors from Europe, USA and Japan from opening stores and creating associated jobs in India.[8][9]

On 14 September 2012, the government of India announced the opening of FDI in multi brand retail, subject to approvals by individual states. [10]. This decision has been welcomed by economists and the markets, however has caused a massive upheaval in India's delicate governance structure.

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