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03.08.05: The blog has moved to www.antropologi.info/blog/anthropology/, and several broken links have been corrected

Here are the most recent posts on the new blog location:

[ Frontpage ]

Monday, June 06, 2005, 13:01

Why American shopping culture is rejected in India

Daily Telegraph

It is easy to see why multi-national giants such as Wal-Mart, French rival Carrefour and Tesco, all of which are active in China, are so attracted to India. The country has the world's second largest population after China with over 1bn inhabitants. But the largest problem for Western retailers hoping to enter India is cultural, and stems from the disparate nature of the retail scene.

Simon Roberts, an anthropologist specialising in India and founder of Ideas Bazaar, a research consultancy, says that attempts to create a shopping mall culture - so established in the West - have so far failed. Although chain stores will appeal to certain bourgeois communities in India's so-called "million cities" (those with more than 1m residents), Roberts says that the demand could be limited because of families' lifestyles.

Many families have domestic staff who do the shopping, and the concept of the "weekly shop" simply does not exist. India is also a deeply religious society, with doctrinal conventions governing behaviour. "An Indian woman in Varanasi might not leave the house except to go to the temple, so do you expect her to suddenly pop off to Wal-Mart?" he says. >> continue

Simon Roberts' blog at Ideas Bazaar

PS: Exciting to read an article about an anthropologist you know - or think you know, because you're a reader of his blog. That's the effect of blogging - as Andrea Handl explains in "blogging and the "big men" in anthropology"


Charu, Monday, June 06, 2005, 15:33

It is not just about domestic servants doing the shopping for the household out of a 'list' - Indians are also acutely value conscious- and the genral belief is that malls charge more for any product - adding the cost of overheads to the mrp! in India, malls are a place for people, especialy young people to 'hang out' - there is so much more to do there including eating - and many malls also have cinema houses within their premises - so shoping - read spending money on purchase - takes a backseat - people do visit malls but do not spend in proportion... which is why mals will never make money here - also read my post on it in my blog titled : get ready to be malled


Lorenz, Monday, June 06, 2005, 16:12

Thanks! Interesting to know - gives hope!

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