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Showing posts from September, 2008

What is the noise in the retail industry today ?

The India Retail Forum concluded recently in Mumbai with proclamations about the great future of the industry. Most speakers, from newspaper reports, agreed that the next five years are going to be much better than today.

However, the media also flashes stories about various companies cutting costs, restructuring and not able to pay vendors. There are reports of top management moving out and confusion about the pace of the industry.

What is happening?

The truth is that the retailers entered the markets with untrammelled optimism. The metrics were based on models from other countries and the growth curve was expected to replicate that of the South East Asian countries. The real estate market also entered into a frenzy in line with the trends all over the world. The people, already in short supply, switched jobs merrily with multiplying salaries every time. The infrastructure continued to be in a mess. The technology solutions were not in place. The customers did not migrate to higher cons…