Recently my colleagues Alison Carr, Smita Gupta and I accompanied our retail client, ColorPlus, and our local architect partner on a whirlwind tour of retail centers and historic sites in four major cities of India, allowing our team to get a good sense of the local flavor and the current state of the global retail scene in this country of 1.2 billion.
That number is staggering when you think about it, and it’s growing rapidly. In fact, this trip actually brought back many memories of previous retail research trips to Bangkok, Thailand, in 1995, and to India in 1997. On those trips it was striking that there were plenty of malls and shopping centers in Thailand, and yet none in India. Fast forward to 2012, though, and India has already changed dramatically with even more construction everywhere. International brands have established footholds in India’s major cities, and they do seem to have a strong appeal for the growing class of customers with money to spend on foreign goods. There are no signs of slowing down, and naturally the pace of our own tour was quick.