Retailing Crafts

Entrepreneurship, Business Devt., Markets, Marketing, Trade

Retailing Crafts: A Selling Proposition

Sood, Anubha


'If you give me sawdust, I could even sell that! You have to create demand for your products and then should be able to fulfil that demand.' - Businessman in Bombay, when asked about his stone export business.

'I opened my shop on 23 August 2003 and three days later my shop was empty.' - Aradhana Nagpal, who runs Dhoop, a contemporary Asian crafts shop in Bombay.

These were some of the responses that I got from people who sell craft products. Having been involved with non-government organisations that support craft groups, I have been concerned with the situation of their market. It is important to understand the present state of craft retailing, the experiences of current players in the chain that produce and sell crafts. What are the gaps that exist in the chain and how can they be filled. Are crafts a viable selling proposition today?

There are different kinds of set-ups that sell crafts - retail outlets, exporters, designers-cum-entrepreneurs, government emporia, chain stores and producers themselves. Most of the producers supply to small retail outlets, which store products from various groups, giving customers a wide range of hand-made products from various states of India. The quantity of each product at the outlets is generally small. Supplying to these outlets involves less risk for the producer groups - quantities are...
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