Retail landscape of the country is changing thick and fast. Retail sector is buzzing with excitement. Wal-Mart in India is now a reality, not withstanding the noises being made by the left. Every day, there are annoucements either by the new entrants about their entry plans or by existing players of their network expansion.
Construction magnet, K. Raheja owned, Rs. 779 crore, Shoppers’ Stop is also no exception. It has firmed up plans to expand its network of retail stores more than sixfold in the next three years from 47 stores to more than 300 stores. Expansion plans envisage, presence of the group extending from 10 cities at present to 30 cities in 2010.
By 2010, Shoppers’ Stop will expand its network comprising different brands and store formats, as under:
Shoppers’ Stop, in the lifestyle and general merchandise segment, from 19 to 48;
MAC, in the cosmetics segment, from one to three;
Home Stop, in the home dressing segment, from two to five;
Mothercare, in the mom and child segment, from 7 to 40 (including, 20 shop-in-shop stores);
Crossword, in the books and entertainment segment, from 17 to about 100;
Café Brio and Desi Cafe brands, in the F&B segment, about 100 outlets.
Hypercity, hypermarket megastores in the value segment, from 1 to 15.
Shoppers’ Stop is considering bringing in more licensee brands in categories like footwear, watches and jewellery.
To tide over the fierce competition, Shoppers’ Stop is also looking at evolving newer formats, newer services and newer locations. Believing that multiplicity of offers is key to the growth of every retailer, the group is expanding product categories and planning to offer a bigger product portfolio. “Net shopping” and “Home Delivery” are among the new formats being planned.
The group has also decided to focus on airports as it considers airports retailing to be the next big opportunity. While, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kochi airports are already working on modernisation, most other airports in the country, after finalisation of privatisation contracts for Delhi and Mumbai airports, are going to be modernised in the next few years. This will open up floodgates of opportunities as middle income travellers hetherto using train service would move up to air travelling. The group wants to partner with the Switzerland based Nuance Group and work in the area of master concessions and distribution of international brands.
Source: The Hindu Business Line