Growth of rural retailing in India with reference to Kolhapur district
Pravin Jadhav, Shailendra Patil
The aim of the study is to identify the growth of rural retailing in India with reference to Kolhapur district. A decade ago, the rural market was more unstructured and was not a prioritized target location for corporate. There were no innovative approach and advertisement campaigns. A distribution system did exist, but was feeble. Illiteracy and lack of technology were the other factors leading to the poor reach of merchandise and lower level of awareness amongst villagers. Gradually, corporate realized that there was saturation, stiff competition and clutter in the urban market, and a demand was building up in rural areas. Seeing the vast potential of 70% of Indians living in rural areas, they started focusing on these unexplored, high-potential areas. In India totally there are 5, 70,000 villages and nearly 60 percent of the rural income comes from agriculture. As a result, retail outlets have sprung up in practically all the villages that store merchandises of various brands and categories. To attract the customers, rural retailing requires separate retailing approach for the retailing mix elements include, Merchandise, Cost, Location and Advertisements which could be formulated after studying the market carefully. Merchandise itself might require modifications due to different nature of population, pricing have to be carefully designed since rural consumers unlike their urban counterparts spend less on consumer merchandise, location have to be decided for easy accessibility and promoting the merchandise to encourage the sales. Retailing Strategy is affected by various factors like Type of merchandise (Durable or non-durable), profile of target market, and facilities available for using retailing mix etc.