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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Landmark 2.0: bookstore as library

Rachit Vats, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 21, 2012
First Published: 22:02 IST(21/11/2012) | Last Updated: 22:06 IST(21/11/2012)

Tatas-owned Landmark will soon add a new chapter to its bookstore business. The retailer that sells books, music and toys plans to introduce books on rent to boost customer loyalty.

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"Books on rent is an excellent concept and successful entrepreneurs are doing it already. There are enough examples in India of running a successful library out of a bookstore," said Ashutosh Pandey, chief operating officer, Landmark.

"Focusing on renting out books and on the children's section is a possibility for us. Our priority is to roll out more and more things around the leisure and entertainment business that we are trying to establish. In the process we'll introduce more formats," he said.

With rising rentals and waning consumer interest in direct purchases amid the rise of online bookstores, brick-and-mortar book shops are evolving, trying new tricks. These include providing space for peaceful readings, interactive gaming and music sales and sessions.

Landmark, which has 19 large format bookstores, is also revisiting its expansion strategy. Instead of expanding through company-owned stores, the book chain will now focus on establishing a franchise-based model.

"Until now our approach has been to open Landmark-owned stores," said.

"We'll open at least three company owned stores every year while the franchise route will help us accelerate retail store volumes," said Pandey.

The company is looking to open at least 25 new large format stores over the next three years.

Landmark is now focusing on expansion in Vizag, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Mysore, Thane, Nashik and Kanpur.

The franchisee-run stores will be trimmed in size with an average size of 7,000 to 8,000 square feet, while large format stores measure about 30,000 to 35,000 square feet.

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