Retail, Organized retail, Unorganised retail, Malls, Fairs, Shoppertainment


The origins of retail in India can be traced in fairs and ‘mela’s (an Indian word for village events to sell and promote goods) which were held across the country for the twin purpose of trade and entertainment. The retail story silently continued in an unorganized structure across every street and its corner in India till early 80’s. The process of liberalization which started during 80’s brought modern retail into its veracity. But the contemporary retail is only a re-evaluation of century old activity of traders selling their produce in a collective arrangement. The paper attempts in tracing out the transformation of traditional formats of fairs and melas into the contemporary retailing in India. The modern format of retail is only a gradual evolution of trade from melas to malls contradicting the general theory of revolution.

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