Big Retail in India
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Direct Investment (FDI) into multi-brand retail has been put on hold. But in
the brief window that it almost became a reality, a fierce debate broke out,
with wildly opposing claims. This is ironic, given that every claim made about
its benefits or risks can be tested against the experience of almost ten years
of Indian organized retail, which closely followed the western model. We take a
hard look at six questions that surface repeatedly: from whether big retail
helps farmers or brings down prices? To whether big retail works in India at

New Delhi: Has big retail worked in India?

When India\'s first modern retail stores opened for business about 15 years ago,
they triggered breathless headlines.

But today, organised retail is only a tiny fragment of the retail market and
most big players are struggling to break even.

Reliance, the biggest player in modern retail has posted a net loss of Rs. 44 crore.

Reliance Fresh: 1050 Stores

Loss in 2010-11: Rs. 44

As for Big Bazaar, the next largest chain, its parent company has debt on its
books of over Rs.
4000 crore.

Big Bazaar: 214 Stores

DEBT (Future Group) : Rs.
4352 Crore

The Shoppers Stop chain of stores posted a net loss of Rs. 1.5 Crores in 2010-11.

Shoppers Stop: 14O Stores

Loss IN 2010-11: Rs.
1.5 Crore

Aditya Birla Retail with its chain of More brand grocery stores is still
loss-making even after 4 years.

Aditya Birla \'More : 580 Stores

Loss-making, Looking for investors

Some like Subhikha, which had at one time more than 1500 stores has shut down

Subhiksha: 1600 Stores

Has shut down

And the oldest modern retail chain - Spencers\' owned by the RPG Group has
posted almost Rs.
200 crore loss this financial year.

Spencers: 220 Stores

Loss in FY 2011: Rs.
170 crore

Which is why India is one of the few countries where Indian big retailers
actually want their foreign rivals to come in. They claim it will bring in more

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