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Would you sell a product developed by someone else or would you rather prefer developing your own product from scratch? You might be wondering how is this relevant to retail business ideas? Well, keep reading, and you shall get to know.

Hi, I’m Nishant, and in this insight I would be sharing a lot of retail business ideas for 2022. But before that, here’s some data around the present and future of retail businesses in India:

Indian retail business employs 10% of the total workforce in India. After taking a slight dip over the last year, it’s roaring again, estimated to grow beyond USD 1.7 trillion by 2026. And to help you be a part of this retail growth story, I’m here, with this list of retail business ideas 2022:

  1. Departmental/grocery store
  2. Furniture retail
  3. Stationery store
  4. Subscription box startup
  5. Electronics store
  6. Cosmetics & skin-care retail outlet
  7. Antique products selling
  8. Pet products startups
  9. Toys & sports store

Also, don’t miss the bonus list of 13 more retail business ideas for 2022.

But what’s retail business?

For me, Retail is buying from manufacturers and selling the products to consumers”. 

That’s what retail business is all about. 

To start your retail business, you can-

  • set up a brick and mortar shop,
  • rent a space in a supermarket/mall,
  • sell online through multi-vendor marketplaces, or
  • launch your own ecommerce store

There could be a multitude of channels when it comes down to selling your products, and the opportunities are endless in the Indian retail sector.

After you are done with this insight, do checkout our list of eCommerce business ideas as well. I hope you understand the difference between retail and wholesale. If you are looking for a list of wholesale business ideas for India, you would find a lot of them as well on this website GrowthRomeo.

Now that you’re growing impatient, let’s breeze through this article to find out 22 best retail business ideas in India in 2022.

9 Retail business ideas to start in 2022

While curating this retail business ideas list, I have tried my best to  stay unbiased, and I would request the same to you too i.e., while considering which idea to pursue for starting your own business, try staying unbiased, don’t assume, be critical, and be fiercely passionate.

Let’s start exploring top retail business ideas (shh!! some we have stolen from unique business ideas list on GrowthRomeo) ->

1. Departmental/Grocery store retail business ideas

This is one of the most common retail business ideas out there in the developing nations. You would not find any idea as popular as this one on the list. Probably one of the easiest retail business ideas with low investment, a perfect small business for small towns, villages, and cities alike. 

If you’re thinking of starting your own business in the retail space, you would have definitely thought of a departmental store, which is also called a grocery store, kirana shop, mom and pop store, or a general store. Yes, one shop and so many names. And just for clarity, Yogi Ji has nothing to do with these names 😀 Okay, poor jokes aside. With 13 million Kirana stores in India, there are a few obvious questions that pops up in the head.

Questions to answer before pursuing departmental store retail business ideas:

  • where to start a mom and pop store?
  • would it be even profitable when the competition is so stiff?
  • what about eCommerce and supermarkets, would they not take the business away from these mom and pop stores?
  • what’s the best way to source products for your inventory?
  • are there any tools that supports smooth operations of these stores?
  • what are the challenges in running a mom and pop store or a kirana shop?

BTW again just so that we are all on the same page, a departmental store is where you buy daily use products like

  • soaps & detergents,
  • pulses,
  • flour,
  • Shampoo,
  • Shaving kit,
  • perfumes, and
  • packaged consumables like dry fruits, cold drinks, etcetera.

Now, to help you with a detailed but crispy guide on starting a kirana store in India, we have answered all the above questions in our dedicated article on “start a profitable kirana store business in India”.

Let’s move to the next item in our retail business ideas collection.

2. Furniture store retail business ideas for 2022

Who doesn’t love a comfy, premium looking, durable furniture built using premium material? I’m a big fan of premium home interiors and furniture is way too crucial for home interior experience. The good thing is, furniture is not just a home thing, it’s equally in demand for office spaces, schools, hospitals, and luxury leisure properties. And that’s what made me include furniture retail business ideas on this list.

What all items falls under furniture retail business ideas?

  • BTW there is a myth, or let’s call it a general misconception that – furniture store businesses are all about wooden products. This is not true.
  • Yes, wood is a significant and most widely used material to build furniture products.
  • But any object in the house other than the ‘floor and rack’ which is movable and is used for seating and sleeping purposes is considered as ‘furniture’.
  • It could be built of wood (common), steel, aluminium, plastic, and/or iron (less common).

For furniture retail business, you can also consider starting a franchise. Most popular franchise options are:

  • Arrivae,
  • Home City,
  • Marshalls,
  • Shiny Sleep, etcetera.

Home Depot and IKEA are such big successes in the furniture retail business. If you’re looking for furniture retail online business ideas, you can look at furlenco & pepperfry. They are the leading furniture startups from India. Find some really good startup business ideas that we have collected to help you start your company in 2022.

3. Stationery store retail business opportunities

India is an agricultural land, and finally I can say that we are cultivating businesses as well 😉 There are a ton of retail business ideas out there that can be started and grown in India in 2022. One such small retail business opportunity is Stationery store. Reminds me of my early school days.

What can you sell in a stationery retail shop?

Stationery store sells-

  • school supplies,
  • office supplies,
  • party supplies,
  • bakery paraphernalia,
  • cards for special events,
  • pens and notebooks,
  • whiteboards,
  • staplers,
  • scissors,
  • cupcake molds,
  • printing paper,
  • ink cartridges,
  • balloons,
  • birthday cards, and
  • cupcake molds

– everything can be sold at a stationery shop.

But in the beginning it is suggested to start this stationery retail business idea from a niche segment and then broaden the range of products that you sell. By the way, if you would be interested, do check a few upcoming business ideas for 2022.

Where from can you source products for your stationery retail business?

  • To source stationery products you can either contact wholesalers or distributors of popular manufacturing brands or contact local small scale manufacturers.
  • The perk with retailing branded goods is that you won’t have much problem in terms of quality of the products, and the problem is your profit margin would be very thin.
  • If you partner with local non-branded manufacturers, it’s the direct opposite, you get a lot of issues in terms of quality, but the profit margin is significantly fat.

By small scale manufacturers, I mean people who set up their own paper and notebook making business in their homes. Many also make pens, cards, cupcake molds, balloons, etcetera. Read manufacturing business ideas.

We have discussed two most common retail business ideas in India, and one less crowded business vertical i.e., furniture retail business.

Now, let’s discuss a unique upcoming retail business idea for India – subscription box business.

4. Subscription box retail startup business ideas, 2022

This is one of the latest retail business ideas, the upcoming craze in the market I would say. Last I checked, it was already a $18.8Bn+ market, and is growing at a CAGR of above 20%.

By the way, CAGR is compound annual growth rate. 

Okay, I get it that subscription box businesses are the latest buzz, but what exactly is it? 

Ah Cool, I’ll explain.

Look, we as humans need a few things on a recurring basis. In-fact, we need a few things on a daily basis.

Right?

Could you think of a few things that we need on a recurring basis which are great fit for subscription box retail business ideas?

I’m assuming stoners are not reading this, else they would be like – you get us man! You totally get us. We do need a few things on a recurring basis, every hour in-fact.

Lol.

But I am not talking about those things.

I’m thinking of grocery products, apparels, and maybe liquors too.

This need for products on a recurring basis is what gives birth to subscription box retail business ideas.

Think of it as the newspaper vendor, or your milk vendor. You’re subscribed to them on a monthly basis, and every morning/evening they drop you the newspaper/milk to your door.

Right?

That’s exactly how subscription box businesses operate. But the idea has expanded to medicines, diet products, food, liquor, garments, groceries, and so much more.

What drives these retail business ideas?

The fact that we are quite lazy lads. That’s where subscription based business models step in.

Businesses are offering people a daily/weekly/bi-weekly/monthly/annual subscription box services like –

  • new fashionable T Shirts,
  • daily grocery items,
  • pet foods,
  • weekend liquors,
  • new perfumes and soaps,
  • cosmetic goods,
  • fitness products,
  • magazines and books,
  • cards,
  • sports boxes,
  • cross-stitch boxes, and so much more.

Let me know if you want to further discuss starting a subscription box retail business in the USA.

I hope this unique retail business idea intrigues you. But if it failed to do so, then let’s explore a few retail business ideas with high investment needs. The first in the list is high-end electronics retail business ideas.

5. Electronics store retail business ideas

You can start an Electronics, TV, AC, Mobile, Laptop, Refrigerator retail store business.

Glitz!

I like lights and colors.

Electronic stores for many is about digital gadgets and appliances. But for me the best thing I love about a electronic store is the light effect with which they decorate their store. One of my friend shares a similar taste, but he is a bit more inclined towards music. He says, a vibrant workplace with good lighting effects and a little rock music makes him go muahhhhhh. And I think, even I would totally fall for such shopping places.

How about you?

What do you like the most about electronics retail stores? By the way, we have a lot of electronic business ideas waiting for you as well.

Go-to-market strategy for your electronics retail store business

Okay, let’s talk about opening an electronic retail store in India.

  • You could either go niche while starting an electronic retail store or you can horizontally scale product variants.
  • By going niche, I meant target one segment – maybe mobile phones and smart watches, or Televisions, or Laptops & desktops, or maybe venture into home appliances like fan, AC, Cooler, Heater, Iron, Lights, etcetera.
  • You may also consider kitchen appliances as a separate niche where you could sell refrigerators, induction cooktops, electric kettles, Juicer, mixer, grinder, microwave ovens, etcetera.

All these products are suited for electronics retail business ideas in India as they are in high-demand throughout the nation – from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

But…

How do you source electronic products? 

This is tricky. 

Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT source it from unverified wholesalers. Especially, if they are from UP, Bihar, Odisha side. Most of the successful brands in India and some MNC brands are battling the counterfeit mafia who make fake products and sell them with fake brand packaging and tags.

I would suggest visiting the brand website and see if they list out verified wholesalers and only source from them. Do not involve any middleman.

6. Cosmetics and skin care retail selling marketplace startups (what’s the product?)

What comes to your head when you hear “cosmetics and skin care store business”?

I would be honest, the first thought that I get is of “Beauty Parlor”, and then I think of “Kylie Jenner”.

  • Kylie is a self-made billionaire, and much of her wealth has been created from cosmetics and skin care brands/products which she launched.
  • L’Oreal, Lakme, Maybelline, Avon, Colorbar, M.A.C, NYX, The body shop, Swiss beauty makeup, etcetera are some of the popular cosmetic brands that you can retail in India.

Go-to-market strategy for cosmetics and beauty products retail business idea in 2022

  • Make sure the person running a cosmetic store, or the staff to whom you shoulder this responsibility is highly cultured and treats women with high regard, and respect.
  • Otherwise, any cosmetic store where the staff misbehaves with women customers is just a step away from getting crushed out.
  • Be very careful with who you hire.
  • You can start cosmetics products retail business idea with low investment and expect a good 20-30% profit margins.

Find some women-friendly business ideas curated for you!

7. Antique products online retail store business ideas for flash sales

Some of the most sought antique products:

  • Furniture,
  • Vinyl records,
  • comic books,
  • trading cards,
  • coins & currency,
  • dolls,
  • toys,
  • stamps,
  • wine,
  • fine art,
  • jewelry,
  • rare pics, etcetera.

Would this sort of retail store work in India?

  • Usually, we don’t have as great demand for antiques in India as we have in the USA, Australia, France, Russia, or Germany.
  • But yeah, we do have a small segment of people who do like to collect and buy antiques.
  • These mostly belong to the affluent society i.e., the rich people in metro cities and you can target them if you open an antique store business in India.
  • You may also consider going for an online antique products selling business.
  • Do take care of the law around running an antique store.
  • It would, of-course, vary from one country to the other. In India, we don’t have any clear specifications about running an antique store or used goods store.

By the way, Antique products retail business is antique itself, Lol.

Okay, I meant it’s a unique retail business idea to try in India in 2022. Let us know about your antique store business, if you start one. Moving on to another upcoming retail business idea in India and a buzzing trend – pet products store.

8. Pet products retail startup business ideas

If you’re a pet lover, it’s a match!

This retail business idea is great for people who love pets and who want to start a retail business as well. 

  • Pet industry is growing in India.
  • At the time of writing this article, I am in Delhi and I’m so astonished to see boys and girls in their teenage years walking in the streets at around 22:30 with their pets (I’m sorry they would be offended to read ‘DOGs’, so I used ‘pets’).
  • 7 years back, when I was last in Delhi, only in the posh area I spotted this trend. But now, it’s everywhere.
  • Here is what I see – people love caring about their pet.
  • It’s not just a genZ or millennials trend, even those who are in their 50s and 60s go out for a walk with their pet.
  • Labrador, Pug, German shepherd, Dalmatian, are some of the popular breeds which you could spot anywhere in India.
  • This is such a sensitive topic that I am actually scared that people who have Pomeranian, or Rottweilers would get offended. Why didn’t I mention them as top breeds in India. The risk is real.

Anyways, people love their pets, and that’s a great thing.

You can sell them pet supplies i.e., bowls, toys, pet treats, pet food, grooming kits, and pet apparels of-course. There are multiple niche retail business ideas within the pet products business.

If you start an online store it is kinda okay to start in a niche segment and then diversify your pet business.

Read online business ideas.

How to source the products for pet products retail business?

  • Consider sourcing these from b2b marketplaces like alibaba, ebay, or you can check your local wholesale market too.
  • Delhi has so many retail markets.
  • The trend is on rise across India, but still I feel the best returns from this business would only be in Indian metro cities right now.
  • In rural areas, I think opening a business for pet breeding and selling pets is more profitable right now than selling pet foods.
  • You can open a pet junction where people can walk in for ‘everything PET’ – from grooming to breeding to regular checkups, food, apparels, and toys.

Talking of toys, reminds me that it is also the 9th item in this super cool collection of retail business ideas in India for 2022. And probably, this would be the last retail business idea that we discuss in detail.

9. Toys & Sports products selling retail business

Do you get excited by hearing Cricket Bats? Badminton & Tennis Nets? Running Shoes? Swimming Kits? Skates? Yoga mats? Cycles? Gym Equipment?

Yes? Great.

That means you have a sports lover in you.

And your presence on this article signals that you have a business keeda (insect) in you.

Am I right?

What if I tell you that opening a sports retailing shop is not that bad an idea.

Conditions do apply to the last statement. 

Estimating revenue from Toys & sports retail shop in a small town of India

  • If you’re in a town with a single market, and if there are 7-8 large sports shops in that market, or in the town, then there’s a problem.
  • Usually these towns have 2-3 Lakhs population and that means around 80k families, out of these only 10% would be buying sports related equipment – 8k families maybe.
  • Considering on an average a family spends 2k on sports equipment, the total revenue generated would be INR 16000000.
  • Splitting it into 8 shops -> every shop would do a business of 20 Lakhs on an average.
  • If you consider 30% to be the profit margin then 6 lakhs is what the shopkeeper would make in a year.
  • Which is kinda good but not that good in today’s times.
  • And remember, this is when I am assuming that you are in a remote town.
  • In remote villages, you can’t really sell enough sports goods – unless it’s a village in Haryana where sports is celebrated.

Go-to-market strategy for toys & sports shop retail business ideas in 2022

  • If you’re opening a sports retail store in a remote village, then I would recommend you to open a hybrid store and cater to kids toys too.
  • That way, you can continuously steer the business revenue and avoid any stagnancy in terms of retail business growth.

Hey, we have more retail business ideas waiting for you in the following sections, but I also wanted to give a huge shout-out to our insight on 277+ business ideas list for 2022. Check out and share that list with your peer group and in your family circles.

That’s not all…. complete list of retail business ideas for 2022

Yay! We’ve covered, in total, 9 retail business ideas in India for 2022 in this insight and I’ve shared my views based on the market research. Hope you find it insightful. For smooth business operations and to grow your retail business I highly recommend my collection of marketing, sales, and productivity tools for you. Need them? Find me on LI, IG, Twitter, and of-course Meta, wait I’ll call it FB.

Popular and profitable retail business ideas, 2022 ->   

  1. Tea & Coffee Leaf Retail Store
  2. Auto spare parts retail business idea
  3. Ice cream parlour business
  4. Fashion & Apparels store
  5. Pharmacy Shop offline business idea
  6. Health & Fitness retail store
  7. Home appliances retail shop
  8. Agricultural products store business idea
  9. Plant saplings & seeds store opportunity
  10. Marble and construction material retail business
  11. Automobiles retail & showroom business
  12. Festival special retail stores
  13. Food retail business ideas
  14. Departmental/grocery store
  15. Furniture retail
  16. Stationery store
  17. Subscription box startup
  18. Electronics store
  19. Cosmetics & skin-care retail outlet
  20. Antique products selling
  21. Pet products startups
  22. Toys & sports store

Read wholesale business ideas, business ideas for small towns, rural areas, and villages, etcetera.

Tada, Nishant.

Nishant Choudhary
  

Nishant is a content marketing consultant for startups & SMEs. He writes about MarTech & business growth. Also an avid book reader, skater, pyjama lover, and traveller.

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