web analytics

Pakistan’s Retail industry at a glance

The retail industry in Pakistan is growing at a very fast pace. Since the last decade, it has increased by leaps and bounds. Many retail gurus have benefited from this emerging market and have succeeded in expanding their shop into shops and then converting the same into brands.

An international financial firm, Deloitte, in co-operation with Planet Retail, has published a combined report bearing the title ‘Hidden Heroes’.

The report enlists Pakistan in the top-ten emerging economies regarding retail industry. The reason behind this progress is the increasing middle class.

A year ago, Standard Chartered Bank conducted a study on the middle class, according to which, Pakistan has a count of 30M households whose annual income is more than $10,000.

According to SBP, the retail growth has jumped from $96B to $133B during the years 2011-2015.

As per Punjab Board of Investment and Trade ( PBIT) report, retail is the third largest sector of Pakistan after agriculture and industry.

This makes up around 17.5% of the country’s total GDP. This sector is also the country’s second largest employer, employing around 16% of the country’s total labor force.

Similarly, according to British retail expert Kim Culley, the retail growth in Pakistan is very high. Many European companies are investing in foreign countries due to saturation of retail market in the homeland-i.e. Other European countries.

Keeping this in mind, we can see the success the French company, Carrefour, and German company, Metro; have had by investing successfully in the Pakistani market.

If we consider the fashion and restaurant industry of Pakistan, we can see that this industry has progressed steadily with time as well.

The Pakistani media has played an important role in this regard. If we talk about the food industry, we know there was a time when homemade food was preferred and restaurant food had taken a back seat in the regard of demand.

Now with the change in time, people’s preferences regarding eateries have also changed.

The trend of fast food is spreading among the masses very quickly. Nowadays, the fast food industry has also become a symbol of fashion and status.

However, as far as the growth of fashion and food industries is concerned, it is limited to bigger cities due to socio-economic issues.

Pakistan’s fashion industry is limited to the biggest cities of Central Punjab, North, South Punjab and Sindh.


This is because the ratio of upper middle and middle class population is higher in these cities; thus, these cities prove to be a good source of income, which contributes to the growth of fashion and food industry.

However, in contrast to this, the same industries face a slower growth in the areas of south Punjab, interior Sindh and Baluchistan.

This is primarily due to lack of education, no access to good sources of income and stubbornly prevalent poverty.

People can’t take advantage of fashion industry in these areas even if they are willing to do so.

All these socio-economic factors are the biggest hurdles in the expansion of fashion industry in the underprivileged areas of Pakistan.

If we take into account the socio-economic factors of these under-developed areas and compare the footwear and clothing industries, it is obvious that footwear industries can be easily expanded to the aforementioned areas as compared to clothing brand industries.

Under developing cities have high sale and purchase rate of unstitched clothes, which are available at very low rates with very reasonable stitching prices.

The reason behind this is the fact that women in rural areas provide stitching services at very low rates.

However, this is not the case with footwear, because shoes are not available in raw form, rather, they are only available in the form of finished products for purchase. By keeping this in mind, multiple footwear brands meet the needs of the people of these areas at lower prices.

Despite the fact, it is impossible for the clothing industry to sale even unstitched clothes in these underdeveloped areas.

The shoe industry can cater to customers in underdeveloped areas by setting prices according to the pocket of the people in smaller cities such as Okara, Chichawatni and Charsadah, however that is not possible for the clothing industry.

This is why you can see brands like Bata, Service and Stylo in these areas but fail to notice the presence of Khaadi, Shirt & Tie or other big clothing brands.

Facebook Comments