In a year when consumer spending and retail sales are declining in most developed-country home markets, emerging market GDPs continue to grow, albeit at a slower rate than before. Moreover, populations in many emerging countries are younger, increasingly urban and showing a growing interest in modern retail formats. This trend is reflected in the 2009 Global Retail Development IndexÃ¢"žÂ¢ (GRDI) from A.T. Kearney, which gives top rankings to the larger, more resilient emerging markets. India is ranked number one, followed by Russia and China.
The GRDI, now in its eighth year, helps retailers prioritize their global development strategies by ranking the retail expansion attractiveness of emerging countries based on a set of 25 variables, including economic and political risk, retail market attractiveness, retail saturation levels, and modern retailing sales area and sales growth. The GRDI focuses on opportunities for mass merchant and food retailers, which are typically the bellwether for modern retailing concepts in a country.
GRDI 2009 findings include:
• India, Russia and China are the most attractive emerging markets
• The UAE climbs 16 places in the 2009 GRDI due to high retail spending per capita and Abu Dhabi's promise of retail opportunity
• Vietnam falls six places due to declines in exports and the resulting decline in GDP, but long-term outlook is still positive
• Leading the 2009 Apparel Index, Brazil is the most attractive emerging market for retail apparel driven by total clothing sales, young population and high annual clothing sales per capita.
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