Subhiksha, the Chennai-based, R. Subramanian owned, over 500 stores strong, discount food and grocery chain, in its now familiar carpet bombing strategy of simultaneously opening a large number of outlets in a single location, is gearing up to storm Kolkata with a cluster of 90 outlets in four months. It has already begun the process of identifying store locations and building distribution centers in the city.
Subhiksha will have more stores than Post Offices in Kolkata, said a company official.
Subhiksha would also set up a regional hub in Kolkata for procurement so as to avoid paying central sales tax, which despite proposed reduction in the rate, will continued to be levied at 3% from April, 2007.
Kolkata, which has a Rs 300-crore-a-month market for food and groceries, offers a huge potential as the organised retailers in the city like Arambagh, C3 and Food Bazaar, account for just Rs 10 crore.
At the moment, Subhiksha does not deal in poultry or fish, however, it would consider offering these items in Kolkata as “Fish and Kolkata are inseparable,” said R. Subramanian, M D of the company. Subhiksha offers an average discount of 9-10 per cent, compared with 2 per cent at Food Bazar. Subhisksha has no takeovers in mind and the entire chain will be created from scratch, added Subramanian.
Unlike other retail stores in Kolkata, Subhiksha will have the added advantage of remaining open between 9 AM and 9 PM.
Kolkata foray for the retail chain is part of second phase expansion for the retail chain in which it wants to take the number of stores in the network to 1,000 by the end of 2007. The expansion will be spread across five states of Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, including Chandigarh.