New Delhi, December 13
Country’s leading hypermarket chain Big Bazaar, which has its presence in over 100 cities across the country, is planning to open 16 more stores to take the overall count to 300 over the next three quarters, a company official has said.
The Future Group firm, as per its expansion strategy, is expanding into the smaller tier-II cities in India, which are lesser impacted by the pandemic and has aspirations and an emerging consumption class.
“We are on the course to complete the milestone of reaching 300 hypermarket stores in next three quarters,” said Big Bazaar CEO Sadashiv Nayak. Future Retail is presently operating around 284 stores of Big Bazaar in over 100 cities, he added.
“With the 300 stores, we would be reaching almost across all the states,” Nayak said.
However, he did not share any financial and investment details over the expansion of Big Bazaar by the Future Retail, which is struggling to pair its debts and has defaulted on some of its commitments amid the pandemic.
While talking about the recovery of the business post lockdown, Nayak said now the number of visitors in stores is increasing and during the festive season, all sections including the apparels and garments also recorded good sales.
Terming it as a “positive tailwind”, Nayak said, “We are still on the path to recovery, we have not fully recovered to normal state” and there are some behaviour changes on the part of consumers also.
“People have started to consume again, which is a good sign and the people need to be price conscious and promotion conscious and that has not gone away. People are checking the price and promotions,” he said adding “another behaviour change is that now the people have started to check the source of the origin of the products”.
Chains such as Big Bazaar are needed not only for providing daily essentials at affordable prices but also to stroke consumption, he added.
Big Bazar has also adopted digital modes, using shopping app, WhatsApp and even phone to get orders and get them delivered at the doorsteps. The company has also adopted concepts as ‘pick up at stores’.
On being asked about the contribution of these new channels in Big Bazaar total sales, Nayak said: “Different markets have different behaviour… We have hit the catchments of cities and towns, where the order from delivery have hit 15 per cent of the store sale”.
The company had last week opened its new store in Lucknow, which is the seventh in the city.
The hypermarket chain operates multiple stores in several tier-II cities. It operates six stores in Bhubaneswar, five in Patna, four in Nagpur and Jaipur, three stores each in cities such as Baroda, Ranchi Nasik.
This is probably first store addition after August 29 when the Future group had announced to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing business to billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries step-down firm Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) for an aggregate consideration of Rs 24,713 crore.
As per the deal, RRVL would acquire the popular Future brand stores such as Big Bazaar, fbb, Foodhall, Easyday, Nilgiris, Central and Brand Factory. — PTI