Please wait while the search results are loading...

Retailers Look for Long-Term Growth in Emerging Markets, Including China, India and Brazil, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Rising household income and a growing middle class in emerging nations offer lucrative expansion markets for retail firms headquartered elsewhere (such as leading retailers from Japan, Europe, the U.S. and Australia).  However, multiple challenges face firms attempting to break into such markets.  In addition to the need to understand local consumer tastes and requirements regarding packaging, displaying and advertising retail merchandise, there are daunting government regulations to overcome, and frequent encounters with difficulties in securing building permits and business licenses.  Foreign retailers will eventually do well in these markets, but it is going to be a long haul, requiring patience and significant investment.  Meanwhile, consumers are becoming more and more likely to purchase online rather than in physical stores.
Chinese consumers are hungry for ever-widening varieties of products.  These new shoppers seek the convenience, comfort and selection offered by Western-style stores.  The Chinese government has an official strategy of growing the importance of retail sales to the overall economy.  The plan is for China to eventually be less reliant on exports and more reliant on domestic consumption.
Many of the world’s largest general merchandise retailers are growing in China.  Walmart operates hundreds of stores in China, through a combination of joint ventures and minority-owned subsidiaries.  German grocer Metro and, of course, Carrefour SA, the French discount giant, have all set up shop.  Tesco Plc signed a store ownership joint venture with China Resources Enterprises.
Although Chinese retailers of all kinds have the benefit of knowing the ins and outs of their local markets, they do not have the deep pockets, management expertise and scale of the foreign firms.  The growing presence of Western retailers has created a healthy competitive atmosphere.  In the mid-term, the new competition may drive forward the retail industry in China, as well as further develop the Chinese economy while it assists bottom lines in the U.S. and elsewhere.  Although China’s economic growth is slowing, retail spending growth continues to increase.

SPOTLIGHT:  Dragon Mart
The Dragon Mart in Dubai is one of the largest Chinese shopping malls outside China.  The mall is 0.75 miles long and has 3,950 shops offering everything from cheap furniture to fashion knockoffs to Chinese body products such as soaps, creams and lotions that claim to enhance beauty and health.  The enormous facility is stocked by a logistics center next door which is operated by the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), enabling goods to be delivered straight off the Dubai docks and wholesale purchases to be exported to any global destination.  The Dubai Dragon Mart location is one of many spread out though the Middle East and Africa.  The Dragon Mart 2, a 2.9 million square foot expansion, features 500 new shops, Novo cinemas and another 4,500 parking spaces. In the fall of 2020, faced with rapidly changing consumer needs and habits, Dragon Mart launched a major ecommerce site.  Its mall tenants may include their products on the site.

     In 2019, India enacted regulations that limit the ability of foreign firms, such as Walmart, to utilize deep price discounts or to streamline their supply chains.  The government’s intent is to better protect its millions of small store owners from competition, and to boost the potential success of locally owned chains.  Laws foreign retailers to set up outlets through joint ventures but stipulates that a large percent of products sold must be sourced from small Indian firms.
Ikea has been sourcing products in India since 1987.  The retailer hopes to invest $1.6 billion in India to open 25 stores over the next several years.
Single brand retailers (e.g., Nike, Reebok, and Apple) are allowed a 51% stake in Indian wholesale outlets.  Only a small percentage of India’s retail business is conducted in chain stores so far.  Most people shop at tiny “kirana” shops which are independently owned microbusinesses that sell limited ranges of goods.  While the middle class is smaller in India than in China, there remains exceptional long-term potential here for retailers.
Significant Indian retail enterprises exist, such as Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd.’s Pantaloons department stores and Big Bazaar discount hypermarkets, Tata Group’s Westside department stores and RPG Group’s Spencer’s.  

A Representative List of Organizations that Have Used our Research and Products:


I’m amazed at how much information is available and the various ways to access it. This will be a major resource for our serious job seekers.

Career Services, Penn State University

Plunkett Research Online provides a great ‘one stop shop’ for us to quickly come up to speed on major industries. It provides us with an overall analysis of the market, key statistics, and overviews of the major players in the industry in an online service that is fast, easy to navigate, and reliable.

Wendy Stotts, Manager, Carlson Companies

I really appreciate the depth you were able to get to so quickly (for our project). The team has looked through the material and are very happy with the data you pulled together.

Hilton Worldwide, Marketing Manager

We are especially trying to push Plunkett since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Library Services, St. John’s College

We are especially trying to push Plunkett’s since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Gary White, Business Materials Selector, Penn State University

Your tool is very comprehensive and immensely useful. The vertical marketing tool is very helpful, for it assists us in that venue, as well as targeting customers’ competition for new sales…The comprehensive material is absolutely fabulous. I am very impressed, I have to say!

Tammy Dalton, National Account Manager, MCI

The more I get into the database, the happier I am that we’ll have it–REALLY happy!!! Between the quality and affordability of your product, its appeal to and value for our users, and the inestimably ethical and loyalty-guaranteeing conduct of your business, I will always have more than sufficient praises to sing for Plunkett Research.

Michael Oppenheim, Collections & Reference Services, UCLA

Plunkett Research Online is an excellent resource…the database contains a wealth of useful data on sectors and companies, which is easy to search and well presented. Help and advice on how to conduct, export and save searches is available at all stages.

Penny Crossland, Editor, VIP Magazine
Real Time Web Analytics