Changing Face of Retail Industry in India



As the world grapples with an unprecedented event, the businesses and economies around the world are finding ways to sustain themselves.

COVID 19 outbreak has created a situation, that has left retail market bereft for finding solutions to sustain their business. Many businesses are trying to maintain a strong foothold without slipping into the depths of debts and Bankruptcy.

Across the globe, the retail business has seen a shift in conducting business. While many are shifting to e-retailing and re-retailing, supplying customers with contactless payments and offering services to the customers that will help their businesses, in India however, the retail market has seen a shift in power.

Both across economies and geographies, COVID 19 has changed the landscape of how business is conducted in the Retail Industry.


Growth Despite the Steep Fall

The retail industry is already observing a shift in the business globally. In India, as compared to April where the loss in the retail market was 80%, the Retail Association of India registered a loss of only 63% in July . While the sales of food and beverages increased for July, the sales for apparel, clothing, sports, and beauty items remained stagnant.

The reports states that across geographies, the retail market beheld losses with companies having a larger turnover. In the East, companies having Rs.20 to 300 crore turnover saw the steepest fall. In the North, companies having less than Rs. 20 crore bettered with the ease of lockdown. In the West, The companies having more than Rs.300 crore are battered with the steepest fall.


The shift of Power of The Pioneer

COVID 19 has also not even spared the pioneer of Retail Market in India. Included in the Forbes Top 100 Businessman in 2017, Kishore Biyani, the owner of India’s biggest Retail Chain Future Group, is striving to keep the business afloat since March.

Future Group, which has a total worth of $US 1.8 billion, houses Hypermarket chain Big Bazaar and neighborhood grocery chains Easyday Club and Heritage fresh, which Future Group acquired in 2016 and 2017.

In March, the sales of 2000 stores of Future Group in 437 cities plummeted as the lockdown allowed the delivery of only essential items.

In June, Future Retail Board approved Non-Convertible Debentures worth Rs.650. The company has also raised Rs.300 through the rights issue. Kishore Biyani has only a 33.5% stake in Future group, the rest is pledged with its lenders.

In 2019, the Future retail signed a deal with Amazon worth $US200 million making Amazon the authorized retail channel for Future Group. The Reliance group is spending Rs.27000 crore to buy Future Group.


D-Mart struggles to maintain Position

Avenue Mart owner Radhakrishna Damani is also not spared by COVID 19. Avenue Mart which has a net worth of $US15.6 billion, recorded a fall of 88% profit for Quarter 1 of the Financial year 2021, from Rs. 334.5 crore to Rs.48 crore.

D-Mart which is fathered by Avenue Mart is a retail store, differed from Kiranas by offering heavy discounts, thus proving lucrative over localities that have apartments.

However, with the implementation of lockdowns across states, the company is struggling to retain its position in the industry. Even though facilities such as home delivery and orders on Whatsapp are supplied by the company, the company is finding it difficult to retain its position in India’s retail markets.


Doubling Off-Market Value of Reliance

Even before the Future Deal is signed, the Reliance group has seen a surge in its retail Off Market, which has doubled since last year.

With Mukesh Ambani, grabbing the fourth position of World’s Richest Man, the off-market valuation of Reliance retail is trading between Rs. 1225 crore to Rs. 1250 crore, as compared to Rs. 500 crores in December last year.

Reports suggest that Reliance Retail is valued at Rs.6 lakh Crore in the markets. Reliance Industries has a current capitalization of Rs.13.5 lakh crore.