“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one”.
—A Chinese Proverb
Is India a ‘nation of shopkeepers’? This was a headline on the front page of The Times of India on 15 December 2006. The report said that ‘with about 11 retail shops for every 1,000 persons, India has the highest shop density in the world. That’s one shop for every 20–25 families. In cities, the density is much higher. Delhi, for example, has nearly 45 shops per thousand persons!’
Put differently, this means that, on an average, there is a store for every 90 people in India. Compare this with the statistics for developed countries. America has one store for every 250 people; the UK has one store for every 200 people. Even Singapore, the ...