Demographic changes in emerging markets are strongly impacting the way consumers shop. Retailers have to adapt accordingly to cater to a new aspirational middle class, with access to higher levels of discretionary spending. This briefing assesses the non-grocery and non-store channels in emerging markets, as well as the challenges faced by local and international retailers present in the region.
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The BRIC markets continue to drive emerging regions, accounting for a large and increasing portion of global sales. Growth is being maintained by the booming lower-tier cities, where high levels of discretionary spending combined with a rapid expansion of the middle-class, has contributed to strong growth in the non-grocery and non-store channels across the emerging market countries.
While improving internet penetration and connection speed, has made internet retailing is the fastest growing channel, the lack of infrastructure dampens the otherwise dynamic forecast expansion.
While m-commerce is still in its infancy in EME’s, a growing number of consumers in these regions have a mobile internet subscription. For some countries, mobile phones represent the main way to access the internet, suggesting strong growth potential for m-commerce as online sales increase.
The evolution of demographic factors such as rising female employment, urbanisation and a younger population have led to more sophisticated demand. For the apparel and footwear specialists’ channel, this has resulted in more international players being present in EMEs.
EMEs represent a growth driver for international players, as their domestic markets stagnate, however foreign companies continue to face challenges, such as poor retail infrastructure and high operating costs, when expanding in EMEs.