North India leads India's organized retail growth, even small towns have immense potential, said Vikram Bakshi, MD, McDonald's

Day 1 at ?THE SHOP? - North India leads India?s organized retail growth, even small towns have immense potential, said Vikram Bakshi, MD, McDonald?s - Young India is gaining confidence and wants change, retailers have to provide their consumption needs, said Sanjeev Agrawal, President-Marketing, Future Group

New Delhi, June 28, 2006: THE SHOP, the two-day summit on organized retailing, commenced today at the Taj Palace, New Delhi with the inaugural address from Vikram Bakshi, Managing Director of cDonald? (North & East India), who stressed that North India is leading the growth of organized retail in India. The SHOP is the first ever retail forum focusing on India's most promising retail zones. The Retail Theatre at The SHOP had international experts, captains of the industry, CEOs of India's key retail chains across formats and categories addressing key retail issues - presenting Views, Reviews, Trends, Possibilities, Success stories, Vision of marketing Gurus, SWOT analysis and a lot more.

According to Mr. Vikram Bakshi, Managing Director, McDonald?s, ?The retail industry in India is witnessing a very interesting phase where different retail formats and categories are emerging and opening up, not just in the metros and larger cities, but also in smaller towns. Northern India is an emerging retail market with all International brands and national retailers targeting the North. Among the northern states in India, Punjab has the highest potential to develop as a key growth market for retailers. McDonald? s itself has 88 outlets in India, 64% of which are located in the North.?

?The Shop? is the zonal version of the annual ?India Retail Forum? event that takes place in September in Mumbai and is the Asia-Pacific?s largest platform for retailers across the globe to come together and discuss the latest trends, visions and ??????? challenges of the Retail Industry.

Speaking at the forum, Mr. Sanjeev Agrawal, President - Marketing, Future Group, said, ?Retail as a medium is about being inclusive and not exclusive keeping the real India in mind. The ?Real India? frame has many more people than we think. It is imperative to recognize the section of consumers one is targeting. And in India the debate is not between aspiration and value but in creating a convergence of both. We at Pantaloon, believe that retail must constitute everything for everyone and through our brands we wish to target every segment of the retail market.?

Mr. Sushant Dwivedy, Business Head Leed, Microsoft Business Solution said, ?Mass marketing is dead and every individual consumer needs to be treated separately. Technology can be used in the Retail Industry to provide better service to consumers and build loyalty factors. The Industry needs more web enabled services. Success for retailers will be driven by smarter operations.?

'The Shop' introduced new retail formats to retailers and potential franchisees and retail real estate developers and equip regional players with necessary support and systems and learning from masters in the business of retail. Showcasing the best in retail offering, providing an in-depth analysis of retail business trends and formulating a differential winning strategy, THE SHOP saw the participation of the very best retail concepts, successful brands, retailers and distributors from all over India.

Mr. Amitabh Taneja, Editor in Chief, Images Group and organizers of the summit, said, ?We will witness retailer

s who have their own well-merited views and concepts which would change retail thinkers to reset enchmarks in many areas and share their huge aura of experience with the audience. IMAGES is now all geared up to focus on India's most promising Retail zones with a series of events titled ?THE SHOP' felicitating interaction of international and national players with these regions in order to facilitate retail expansion and strengthen sourcing from regional brands and manufacturers.?

Over these two days the forum will witness national and regional retailers

across formats & categories, shopping centre developers, potential

franchisees, investors, retail support & systems, vendors, govt officials, trade bodies. Some renowned people like Vikram Bakshi, MD, McDonald?s, Andrew Levermore, CEO, HyperCity Retail, Vijay Menon, CEO, Mobile Next, Sanjeev Agarwal, President, Marketing, Pantaloon Retail, Sushant Dwivedy, Business Head Leed, Microsoft Business Solutions, Sam Matthew , Head- Client Solutions, Total Outsourcing, Wipro, N. Sathiyanarayanan, Senior VP, Lifestyle, Denny Gerdeman, CEO, Chute Gerdeman, USA, Ratan Jalan, CEO, Apollo Health and Lifestyle, Sandeep Ahuja, CEO, VLCC, Tim Eynon, CEO Prozone and Director Provogue, Bipin Gurnani, CEO, Piramyd, Gopalratnam Kannan, Country Manager, Swatch Group India, Partha Datta Gupta, CEO, Barista and many more.

Over the years Images has received global recognition for its bold initiatives to support retail growth in India and Images (that includes Conclaves, CEO meets, Exhibitions and Awards) are known for their impact -- attracting industry big wigs with almost cent per cent attendance of the key stakeholders.

About Images Multimedia

IMAGES is an industry support platform - specific to the Fashion & Lifestyle, Retail and Retail Real Estate sectors - deriving support from its competencies in Research, B2B and B2C publications, Education & Training, Consulting, and Events and Awards of international standards. The Group has been closely involved with over 1000 key lifestyle brands, retailers, the entire retail support network, and real estate developers from across the globe for over a decade now.

IMAGES Fashion & Retail magazines enjoy the largest readership in their segments across the Indian sub continent & Middle-East with over half a million readers. IMAGES F&R Research wing has been closely monitoring the trends in the market and has been feeding industry, government and media with vital information for strategy formation in association with world?s top consulting & research organizations like McKinsey, AT Kearney, KSA, AC Nielsen ORG MARG, etc.

For more information please contact: Bhavya Suri, Perfect Relations,

9871597740, Reena Varghese, Perfect Relations, 9910234004

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