India is a cornucopia of different cultures, styles, and traditions. Therefore, it fits that when you walk into a shop in India you are immediately blown away by a variety of colors and designs. Visually, some of the biggest differences I’ve seen in Indian retail versus American retail are when it comes to their color stories and floor layouts.
In America often stores will have one or two color stories, meaning that all the items in the store will be within the same palate, but in India that doesn’t seem to be the case. For example, in the store Pantaloons, clothes of all colors and styles are strewn about with seemingly no structure.
(above picture of Pantaloons store from pantaloons.com)
Customer service in India is very highly valued. When entering higher end stores such as Anita Dongre, or even a marble manufacturer, you are almost always asked if you want anything to eat or drink. In my experience the sales associates, in all stores, will also stick to one person rather than helping multiple people at a time. A lot more people work in the stores here as well, which allows for that level of customer interaction. This is something that’s mirrored in the street markets as well. Hagglers, though annoying they may seem, are really just like sales associates in the sense that they’re just trying to give you as much attention as possible in order to make a sale.
(above picture of Anita Dongre’s store from livemint.com)
Though they may seem vastly different the values of retail in the US and India are more or less the same; customer service, and a drive to sell. The execution of these values is different purely to adapt to the cultures and ways of life in each country. In the US we love organization and have a need for privacy and personal space. In India organization seems less important, and due to higher populations people may want more attention when they’re shopping so that they feel more valued.
(featured image of Select Citywalk Mall in Delhi, image from selectcitywalk.com)