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Theory of Brick-and-Mortar Retailing in India (ToR-b)

H. R., Ganesha and Aithal, Sreeramana (2020): Theory of Brick-and-Mortar Retailing in India (ToR-b). Published in: International Journal of Management, Technology, and Social Sciences (IJMTS) , Vol. 5, No. 2 (30 August 2020): pp. 116-132.


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Brick-and-mortar (B&M) retailers in India are constantly devoting their time, effort, energy, and money in discovering and adopting retailing theories, models, and frameworks that are practiced by the B&M retailers in the developed countries that have matured markets and consumers. This is a clear example of a serious timing issue. We believe the Indian market and consumers are moving towards the same maturity levels, but it is still a long way to go as the Indian consumers belong to the widest variety of religions, regions, languages, cultures, sub-cultures, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds with divergent needs. In addition to expecting world-class overall store-image, they yet require retailers to facilitate honest and authentic human-led engagement. This means, thoughtful and logical integration of existing theories aligned to, the Indian market; consumer's maturity level; divergent consumer needs is crucial, and this is the core of our theory. The ToR-b adopts elements of retailing theories that are known and suitable for retailing in the Indian context, in addition to identifying i) new elements influencing honest and authentic human-led engagement; higher consumer-level customization; higher levels of consumer-orientation, ii) significance of their association and determination with return on investment, iii) their role in influencing the long-term sustainability of a retailer, and most importantly iv) their ability to enhance interest among existing and potential employees, investors, and consumer’s minds with a particular retailer. Insights from multiple empirical and qualitative studies, field experiments, and evaluation of consumer-level transactions involved in building this theory made us strongly believe that the overall phenomenon of B&M retailing in India is truly complex and complexity is necessary to an adequate description of a phenomenon. We hope that in addition to laying a foundation for new directions to guide future research on Indian retailing, our theory will provide new and noteworthy insights into the overall phenomenon of B&M retailing in India.

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