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The changing face of retailing, 1980–2020

Sayee Manohar Krishnamurthy (Department of Management and Commerce, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Muddenahalli, India)
Krishna Venkitachalam (Department of Management, Estonian Business School, Tallinn, Estonia)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 26 April 2022

Issue publication date: 8 February 2023




The purpose of this research is to portray the historical evolution of retailing from 1980 to 2020. The study considers India as the domain as it is one of the fastest growing markets, and the retail growth is anticipated to reach more than one trillion dollars within this decade.


This paper captures the historical growth trajectory of retailing from the pre-online era to the online era and highlights how the retail environment has become modernized and sophisticated in the process in India.


The study traces the journey of retail from 1980 to the multi-billion-dollar sector it had become by 2020 in India. Furthermore, the article provides an overview of how the different retail forms and players in the Indian retail sector have been shaping the industry over the last four decades. During this period, there has been a transformational change in the format of Indian retailing. The Indian consumers' shopping mindset moved from physical in the 1980s to online, and now “Phygital” (Physical and Digital) in 2020s has become an omni-channel platform in Indian retail.


This paper aims to present a viewpoint of the evolutions of retailing from the unorganized to the organized form and from the physical to the online form over the last 40 years in the Indian retail sector landscape.



The authors thank Dr. S. Srinivas for proof-reading support.


Krishnamurthy, S.M. and Venkitachalam, K. (2023), "The changing face of retailing, 1980–2020", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 41-55.



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