25 Big Bazaar stores in 2008; a stimulus for retail industry17 Jan 2009
By Sarimul Islam Choudhury
What he thinks turns visionary, what he does becomes innovative and what he develops becomes an enterprise in itself. No prizes for guessing. IndiaRetailing is referring to India’s retail tycoon Kishore Biyani and his venture Future Group.
The retail arm of Future Group — Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd is India’s leading retailer that operates multiple retail formats in both the value and lifestyle segment. The Mumbai-based company has diversified its operation over 18 categories and operates a nationwide chain of stores that include Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Pantaloons, Central, HomeTown, eZone, Depot, LootMart, Brand Factory, Scullers, Urbana, Indigo Nation, One Mobile, Staples, Etam, Lee Cooper Sports Bar, Copper Chimney and F123.
Starting the year 2008 with six million square feet of retail space with stores in 51 cities across the country, the retailer ended the year with over 11 million square feet of retail space and over 1,000 operational stores across 63 cities and towns and 65 rural locations in India. The retailer opened 25 Big Bazaar stores in 2008 besides opening stores simultaneously across all the formats and carried the total store count of Big Bazaar to 104. Even more, the company had seen a 52 per cent increase in its total income from Rs 33.29 billion in FY 2006-07 to Rs 50.53 billion in FY 2007-08.
Looking back in excitement:
In an initiative to asses the growth of the company in the last year, IndiaRetailing found that the company was not only aggressive in store openings but also ran some innovative marketing initiatives across its formats to attract footfalls and cash in huge revenues therein.
Opening the season’s first Big Bazaar store in Kolkata on January 19, 2008, which was spread over an area of 62,000 square feet, Sandeep Marwaha, head operation — east zone, Pantaloon Retail, said, "We are a consumer-driven company and we ensure that all our Big Bazaar stores fulfill the needs of the entire household under one roof. We are confident of our offerings both in quality and competitive pricing, which has earned us the trust of millions of families across the country."
And yes the confidence kept rolling throughout the year as the company was found opening stores after stores across formats. In January itself, Pantaloon Retail opened another Big Bazaar store at Lee Road in Kolkata, which was spread across 40,000 square feet. The month also witnessed the launch of ‘Cosmos: The Siliguri Megamall’ in the city. Spread across six floors with a retail area of around 3.5 lakh square feet, Cosmos Megamall houses over 75 retail stores including all popular national chains of the Future Group. Ardhendu Bose, GM, Cosmos, said: “It will indeed be a landmark and pride of the city, and even for the entire north eastern India region.” Pantaloon Retail also posted 62.9 per cent increase in income for the quarter ended December 31, 2007 in this month.
February 2008 started with company’s signing up of USD 50 million business deal with leading IT solution provider Wipro Infotech for developing streamlined IT operations for its stores. Speaking on the occasion, Kishore Biyani, CEO, Future Group, said, “Pantaloon is driving innovation and thought leadership in India’s retail industry. This partnership is valuable to all our stakeholders including customers and employees.” The group also launched a new retail format in the home segment branded ‘Home Bazaar’ — a satellite version of its national home making and improvement retail brand Home Town at M Square Mall, Aurangabad. It further announced its plan to expand the format throughout the country, mainly in tier II and III cities.
In March 2008, the group opened an exclusive store of its French lingerie brand Etam in Mumbai. It also opened lifestyle apparel and accessories retail format store Pantaloons in Guwahati and one Big Bazaar in Ranchi, which claimed to be the largest in the east zone with 80,000 square feet retail area.
FY 2008-09 started with the opening of its luxury furniture and furnishings format store Collection i in Surat and electronics specialty store eZone in Pune. In May, the group opened the seamless mall Central at Oberoi Mall in Mumbai and eZone in Bengaluru. Besides the store launch, the group signed a 50-50 JV with entertainment, media and communications company — Percept Ltd to enhance its reach in Bollywood retail. The concept was developed to provide a complete ‘Bollywood Experience’ including Bollywood Cafes, Walk Throughs, Hall of Fame, Bollywood Museums, Bollywood Theme Park, Merchandising and a host of other experiential offerings for the visitors.
In June 2008, the group's activities were concentrated mostly on brand building and partnership. In this month, the group’s home making and home improvement store HomeTown entered into a distribution deal with Italy’s modular kitchen maker — ARAN Cucine and launched its exclusive brand Denovo for the first time in India. Denovo ranges include designer collections like Tiziano, Leonardo, Giotto and Raffaelo. HomeTown also entered into an exclusive tie up with Italy’s luxury bath range manufacturer and supplier AQUAlife and brought it to India.
In July 2008, Pantaloon Retail opened its flagship brand Big Bazaar at the Deendayal Mall in Gwalior, which was the 91st store of the chain. It also opened the 41st store of its lifestyle format Pantaloons in Nagpur and its fashion value retail format store Brand Factory in Bengaluru in this month.
In August 2008 when the whole country was celebrating the 61st Independence Day, Future Group was celebrating total sales of worth Rs 1.05 billion on single day across its outlets earned from one of its promotional and special offer programmes.
After continuous effort throughout the quarter, in September 2008, Pantaloon Retail presented its audited financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2008, wherein the total income of the company had seen a 52 per cent increase from Rs 33.29 billion in FY 2006-07 to Rs 50.53 billion in FY 2007-08. In October that year, Pantaloon Retail posted 39 per cent increase in net sales for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.