Consumerism and Recent Trends In India


Consumerism essentially means the growing wants and needs of an individual for goods and services. India is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world. The consumer’s standard of life is going higher and hence his needs are escalating as well. Consumerism in India, is in a new high, and refuses to show signs of budging anymore. The Indian consumer, due to his exposure, of the global market, strives to get the best of the goods in his home land.

Consumer tastes and preferences are definitely changing. Even children have their own preferences. The retail sector- both organized and unorganized, strive hard to cater to the vast range of the Indian consumers. The retail sector in India, with its present pace, is expected to grow at a rate of 25%- 30% annually.


Being the fifth largest retail industry in the world, the trends of the retail industry in India is quite remarkable. The consumer group can literally be divided into three clear groups:

  1. The first group comprises of consumers who are extremely brand conscious and depend upon the high end retail stores to satisfy their needs;
  2. The second group is another extreme who satisfy their consumer needs from outlets that do not hold popular brands and are also much cheaper;
  3. The third group however follows the middle path- they satisfy their consumer needs either from high end retail outlets or the less popular retail outlets, as and when necessary.

Food is one of the most in demand need in the Indian market. Simple things like groceries, fruits and vegetables are sold in both organized as well as unorganized retail outlets. Therefore, at one end we have the comfortable air conditioned super markets while at the other hand the typical ‘sabzi mandi’ too serves the Indian consumer.

The next item on demand is clothing. With the advent of international and national brands and easy accessibility to designer wear, the very face of the retail clothing industry has changed. A need to be street smart and fashionable is another requirement that has revolutionized this industry. Here too, we find the high end stores displaying international brands and designer wear, climb the success ladder with great gusto, as well as the stalls on the street side selling cheap clothes too making a niche for themselves. It is the same story with accessories, shoes and cosmetics, electronics, sporting goods as well.

The Indian retail industry gives an opportunity to everybody to shine- whether they are family stores, or departmental stores, or convenience stores, e-tailers, or malls or specialty stores- such is the varied range of consumers in India. Despite challenges like the tax structure, lack of infrastructure, shortage of trained manpower, etc. the Indian retail industry is expected to generate an expected turnover of US$ 833 billion by the year 2013.

The growth of India in the economic sector has resulted in Indians willing to invest in a life of luxury. Such a wish is the major cause behind India’s growing consumerism and retail trends.