Pantaloon rejigs plans post Wal-Mart Bharati alliance; to open 100 Big Bazaars by 2007

kishore_biyaniAs entry of the US$ 416 billion, global retail behemoth Wal-Mart in 2007 has become certain, after it recently tied up with the country’s biggest private telecom player Bharti Enterprises, it will not only change dynamics of the retail industry but it will also put the same on a stronger footing as it will spur growth at higher rates than envisaged before.

Responding to these developments, Pantaloon Retail, the Future group flagship, has announced scaling up of its retail plans to increase the number of highly successful “Big Bazaar” hypermarket format stores to 100, by end 2007, reports PTI.

Incidentally, Big Bazaars with tagline “is se sasta aur accha aur kahin nahi,” follows the same marketing philosophy as that of Wal-Mart, which exhorts its customers with “Always Low Prices, Always”

“It needs to be seen how the partnership of Bharti with Wal-Mart unfolds,” said Kishore Biyani. “Wal-Mart will have an effect which will be a challenge for us. However, since the international counterparts have a different mindset, the partnership and strategy needs to be understood,” added Biyani.

Striking an optimistic note, Biyani hoped that the entry of foreign players like Wal-Mart, will help modern retail in the country to corner upto 25 per cent of the total retail spend.

Pantaloon Retail, one of the oldest organised retail players in the country, which began its operations from Kolkata in 1997, presently operates 140 outlets, caters to the needs of both lifestyle and value buyers, through different brands and store formats. Pantaloon, the country’s biggest listed retailing company with an annual turnover of Rs. 2199 crore, in the next five years by 2011, plans to achieve an annual turnover of Rupees 300 billion ($ 6.6 billion). Pantaloon has already secured 24 million sq ft of the 30 million sq ft of space it has planned by 2011.

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