The deteriorating law and order situation, the rising inflation, depleting foreign reserves and sectarian wars; these are few of the many complications that Pakistan faces today. But ironically, this dilemma has not affected the rising consumer spending. In fact, per capita consumer spending increased by approximately 40% between 2006 and 2012 (Planet Retail). An average Pakistani spends 42% of his/her income on food products, consumer electronics and beauty and personal care products.
A market with such potential has attracted many investors to devote to the modern markets’ sector in the country. Utility stores, cash and carry’s, CSDs, hypermarkets and supermarkets contribute around $370 million to the GDP. This fragmented field is attracting more foreign retail chains and it is inevitable that this sector will rise at an impressive pace.
Supermarkets have affected shopping in a very positive way. Grocery shopping has become very organized and easy as you can find all your products under a single roof. However, it cannot be denied that shopping in these supermarkets require a big chunk of your time and energy.
Let’s look at it like this:
You decide to go for your monthly shopping in a big supermarket…..
- First, you have to search for a suitable place to park and if you’re lucky, you might get it somewhere near the entrance, otherwise get ready for a long walk!
- Then you enter the shop with your cart which we hope is not running on three wheels.
- You have to drag your cart in almost every aisle until you finally find the brand of your choice.
- Finally, after all the shopping is completed, your relieved self walks to the cash counter and then adding to your misery is a big queue where you have to wait for your turn!!
- Finally, finally! Your shopping is complete and you have successfully paid for it! It’s done!! Oh….. wait…. you also have to carry your shopping bags to your car… Good Luck!
In other words, you actually have to take out a lot of time out of your schedule in order to do your monthly shopping. In addition, the whole experience is indeed very exhausting, especially for the working class which is increasing in the urban capitals of Pakistan.
The modern retail industry in Pakistan is not mature and there is a big room for innovations to cater to the need of a more comfortable and content shopping experience. New ideas are being introduced; one of them being a drive thru supermarket ‘DriverStar’.
The idea has been proposed by university students in which consumers can do all of their grocery shopping without getting out of their cars. They can enter the drive thru, place their order, and collect the groceries at the end of the lane.
This clearly states the future of retail industry in Pakistan. We are not short of notions and concepts like these and they can help ease shopping experience and moving towards a more competitive environment.