One of the largest retail movements witnessed in Australia began in November last year. Initiated by American Express, the Shop Small campaign aimed to stimulate consumer spending within local communities by supporting small businesses in the run up to Christmas.

In our recent Innovation 9 study, ‘hyper local’ appears as a key innovation theme. There is real power in truly being local.

Having the right products sourced from communities speaks to powerful macro trends around freshness, sustainability, and supporting the local community.  It also speaks compellingly to safety, and the consumers’ desire to become better educated and more demanding about the products they are consuming.

Retailers large and small are focusing on attempts to get local – really local – and there are extraordinary efforts underway across multiple countries to highlight local offers and drive local business.

New Delhi’s Fab India bases its unique and innovative retail model on “inclusive capitalism”, pioneering the concept of community owned.  The model is especially relevant to developing countries, linking rural artisans with urban markets (potentially across the world).

The key differentiators and wins for Fab India’s model are:

  • Its creation of 90,000 sustainable rural jobs across India
  • Direct interface with artisans who are shareholders in the business
  • Bringing the retail model closer to the sourcing, thus shortening the supply chain and enabling a better quality item and more competitive pricing
  • Accessing modern techniques to improve productivity and contemporary designs across a range of product segments
  • An international platform through bricks and mortar and e-commerce established at the front end.

With 171 stores, Fab India is now present in six countries and 73 cities. Its model is a lesson in fit and fresh innovative retail thinking. With India’s exceptionally strong heritage of handcrafted products, artisans form the backbone of India’s rural economy and the handicraft industry is the second-largest employment generator in villages after agriculture.

Around 85 per cent of the market is dominated by the ‘unorganised’ and ‘non branded’ segment.  By orchestrating the supply chain and establishing a central coordination agency, Fab India can bring customers a choice of products that offer an alternative to mass produced items.

When it comes to consumer satisfaction, small local shops offer convenience and the opportunity to create services and collections unique to their community.

Hyper local has a true feel good factor.  So for a fitter local retail business, have a think about how you can support your community – so they in turn support you.

Happy fit retailing Brian Walker Retail Doctor Group

I welcome you to contact us to help your business implement a truly fit retail experience. All currently released trends from Retail Innovations 9 are available to download at

First published by Inside Retail, February 2014