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Retail in India - statistics & facts

Due to the introduction of various new players, the Indian retail industry has become one of the most competitive and quick-paced sectors. With a contribution of around 10 percent to India’s GDP and a share in the employment of around eight percent, the retail sector is also domestically of high significance. The estimated market size of the retail sector was about 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars, with food and grocery contributing to the majority of the shares in the retail market. India's retail industry is expanding at an exponential rate, with retail development occurring in tier II and III cities in addition to big cities and metro areas.

Retail Segments

Being a daily requirement, customers spend a large share of their income on food and grocery retailers. With the introduction of D2C start-ups for food and beverages, customers can now order at home from a huge variety of items ranging from kid’s snacks to alcoholic beverages with just a click. Moreover, apparel and footwear, along with consumer and electronic retailers, are other significant players in India’s retail market. Major retail companies such as Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail or Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited do not specialize in one specific genre but engage in various retail categories from apparel and footwear to groceries, and consumer electronics.

Highly competitive space

Small retailers and the so-called Kirana stores have shaped India’s retail landscape. Located in narrow neighborhoods, on busy streets, and within the walls of gated communities, Kirana stores attract customers through easy accessibility. Personal interactions with the shop owners make them a social meeting spot. In contrast, the organized retail sector attracts through an air-cooled atmosphere, sometimes also in malls similar to amusement parks, giving its customers an all-round experience of the senses along with the shopping thrill. Although the number of malls increased and is expected to rise further, emerging ghost malls reflect the high competition from the unorganized retail forms. As far as new openings were concerned, local stores still outnumbered mid-size retailers with their shares continually on the rise.


Without being reliant on physical stores, India’s growing e-commerce sector has emerged as a market with huge potential. Evidently, the coronavirus pandemic served as a key trigger and contributed towards further prompting development within this sector. With the onset of the nationwide lockdown at the end of March 2020, customers tended to stay in their homes, avoiding physical stores. This resulted in a surge in, the market value of the online retail industry which was valued at 38 billion U.S. dollars. Accordingly, more customers made use of online retailers. Today, there are about 190 million existing online shoppers in India. India’s retail sector seems to remain a highly competitive market with a high potential to continue growing in the future.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 35 most important statistics relating to "Retail in India".


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