Chinese Finished Lubricants Market

Key Lesson #3 – Suburban and rural areas offer immense potential in all four BRIC countries.

So far much of the growth we’ve seen in the BRICs has been in the major cities. From Moscow to São Paulo, Shanghai to New Delhi, we can find modern retail concepts, Western brands, and savvy consumers. The channels of distribution have become quite developed, product awareness is high, and sales are well established.

In the coming years we’re expecting a similar boom in the more remote areas, which, especially in China and India, have huge untapped populations. In Brazil the “Bolsa Familia” government program will transfer income to poor families in small cities, making them more attractive targets for marketers and retailers alike. In Russia, leading retailers have expanded their sights behind Moscow and St. Petersburg and are now opening doors in the 12 economic zones of the Russian Federation. In China, leading chains across all channels are extending their businesses into Tier-II and Tier-III cities from their bases in Tier-I cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen, which they had focused on in the past. In India, organized retail has expanded beyond the bigger cities to semi-urban and even rural areas.

So we’re clearly seeing urban sprawl emerge in the BRICs as we’ve seen in many mature markets. I just hope the whole world does not become one big strip mall.

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