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

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Ganesha H. R.
Aithal P. S.


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 are 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 humanled 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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Ganesha H. R., & Aithal P. S. (2020). Theory of Brick-and-Mortar Retailing in India (ToR-b) . International Journal of Management, Technology and Social Sciences (IJMTS), 5(2), 116–132.