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India stands out among Bric nations

According to a study, How Half The World Shops, it is the woman who decides what clothes to buy for the family. Suman Layak and Saurabh Turakhia tell us more.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2007 00:43 IST

While Indian husbands may decide which mall the family visits, the wives take over once they reach there, says a recent McKinsey survey on apparel shopping in the BRIC nations — India, China, Russia and Brazil.

According to the study, How Half The World Shops, it is the woman who decides what clothes to buy for the family. However, in India almost 50 per cent of the women let their spouses decide on where to buy. In China, 8 per cent women allow their husbands that freedom, in Brazil it is 3 per cent.

Released in November, the report uses data from McKinsey surveys conducted earlier that polled 300 women in each of the BRIC nations, predicted to be future economic superpowers.

The study says only in India the market for men’s apparel is bigger than that for women’s. Reason: many women still wear traditional clothes like saris. Moreover, 74 per cent Indians feel shopping is a good way to spend time with family — 68 per cent shop for clothes only when accompanied by family or friends. It is true for 29 per cent Russians, 36 per cent Brazilians and 35 per cent Chinese.

Echoes Govind Shrikhande, chief executive officer of Shoppers’ Stop: “On weekends, close to 75 per cent of shopping is done along with the family, but on weekdays it may go down to 50 per cent.” He agrees with the finding that most prefer to shop from outlets which stock clothes for men, women as well as kids.

The study says: “The Indian apparel market has some distinctive features that mass market retailers must accommodate.” It suggests that marketers must find formats for India that appeal to the entire family.

The study also says unlike the rest of the world, in India most of the shopping is done during festivals and special occasions like marriages.

First Published: Nov 22, 2007 00:33 IST