Category Archives: Retail Concepts

The business of Brands


What are the basic ingredients that make a brand tick and help it become a Superbrand?

Well, a combination of elements are responsible for making a Brand, what it is. Following is a list of important elements.

  • The Name: The name by which a Company or its products are known.
  • The Logo: The symbol which represents a Brand.
  • The Company: The corporate entity of a Brand
  • The Image: What a Brand has come to represent.
  • The Customers: Those whom a Brand serves.
  • The Product and Services: What a Brand offers in a market place.
  • The Promise: What a Brand stands for- its vision, mission, goals, and objectives.

— Based on the information provided in the 2006 Annual Report of PNC Limited, Mumbai.


Who is a ‘Cash and Carry’ wholesaler?

cashncarrySince, present government policies on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India do not allow majority investment in front-end retail operations for multi brand retail retail store chains, big retailers like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco are exploring feasibility of entering the retail sector through what are known as ‘Cash and Carry wholesale’ and other back-end operations like supply chain and logistics management. While Metro AG of Germany is already in this business in India having opened its office in Hyderabad, Wal-Mart has just signed an agreement with Bharati Enterprises to enter this segment.

There is hardly any clarity, however, on what is ‘cash and carry’ wholesale trade? Is it same as good old wholesale business or it has finer nuances? Since this term is now being freely tossed around in media reports and business discussions, here is a quick take on: what is cash and carry wholesale? Continue reading

Hypermarkets: The engine of future retail growth

Hypermarkets have caught imagination of shoppers all over the country, largely on account of low prices and wide variety of merchandise that they are able to offer to their customers. All research studies suggest great future for them. While, Price Waterhouse Coopers have predicted a major part of estimated US$ 410 billion investment in modern retail in the next five years to go in the hyper and supermarket formats, many experts believe that, in less than five years, the country could see the emergence of more than 1,000 hypermarkets.

Just to cite an example, the UAE based LuLu group, as reported earlier, is setting up a 1,80,000 sq. ft. hypermarket in Kochi compared to Shoppers’ Stop 1,00,000 sq. ft. big “Hypercity” in Mumbai, which presently is the country’s biggest hypermarket.

While, Hypercity, Big Bazaar, Star Bazaar, 10 Acres, etc. are already attracting enormous customer attention, Ambanis, Bhartis, Carrefour, Tescos, and many more big names of the retail world are either implementing or fine tuning their business plans to set up even bigger and better hypermarkets. Clearly, hypermarkets are going to fuel the future growth.

While, we have been reporting on the moves being made by local and foreign players in this arena, we thought it fit to include a quick rundown on their origin, evolution and perceptions in different countries across the globe:

HypercityA “hypermarket” is a superstore which combines a supermarket and a department store. The result is a gigantic retail facility, which carries an enormous range of products under one roof, which ideally should make available to customer all her weekly routine needs in a single trip. Due to their large footprints, a typical Wal-Mart Supercenter covers 150,000 square feet, while a typical Carrefour covers 210,000 square feet of space. These stores are typically single-level enterprises, most of which, except on major holidays, remain open for long hours.

Wal-Mart (USA), Carrefour (France) and Tesco (UK) are the world’s three largest hypermarket stores.

The term Hypermarche’ (French) was originally coined by Carrefour in 1962, however, the credit for pioneering the concept goes to Fred Meyer chain, which set up the first hypermarket in 1931 in Portland in the US. Fred Meyer is now a part of Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the US.

Although, the concept of hypermarkets is very popular in Japan and many other countries, it is not so popular in Germany due to statutory restrictions on size, timing, etc. Metro AG, which recently acquired the business of Wal-Mart in Germany is the biggest hypermarket chain in that country. After the success of super and hypermarkets, and amid fears that all smaller stores would be forced out of business, France has, in fact, enacted laws that makes it difficult to build them and has also restricted the amount of economic leverage that hypermarket chains can impose upon their suppliers. Continue reading

Socio Economic Classes (SEC categories)

IRS_Logo Almost every one associated with retailing, marketing, media and consumer economics is required to deal with SEC categories. These categories are important as they help in effectively segmenting markets and targeting communication to core consumers.

Terms like, SEC A, SEC B, and the like are freely tossed around by all, however, only a few know their real meaning. Very few, for example, may be aware that many traders, who may be affluent with more spending power than most executives will fail to make the ‘high’ grade, if they are not graduates.

Although, MRUC & Hansa Research have come up with a new concept of Household Potential Index (HPI) to reclassify consumers, SEC continues to remain universally referenced classification of consuming classes. While, a detailed postings on HPI will soon follow, we explain below the basis of classification of different urban SEC categories and their relative importance in relation to marketing/ retailing potential: Continue reading