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Birlas want more from retail

The group is believed to have earmarked an investment of Rs 9,000 crore for its retail business for a period of three years, reports Saurabh Turakhia.

business Updated: Dec 02, 2007 23:48 IST
Saurabh Turakhia

The Aditya Birla Group is now ready with a focused strategy for its retail venture. After acquiring the Hyderabad-based Trinethra chain of supermarkets in January this year, the group has been regularly opening its 'More' chain of food and grocery stores across various parts of the country.

The group is believed to have earmarked an investment of Rs 9,000 crore for its retail business for a period of three years. It plans to set up 1,000 supermarkets of about 10,000 square feet each over the next three years. The funds for the retail business will be sourced through a mix of equity and debt.

After the first 'More' outlet was established in Pune, the company has already set up 130 standalone 'More' stores spread across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Ahmedabad.

The group is also in the process of refurbishing 170 of its 'Trinethra' stores and converting them into 'More' outlets and the entire exercise is likely to be completed in two months, according to reliable sources. In addition to the food and grocery chain of stores, the group is planning an April 2008 roll out of family apparel and accessories stores. The launch would be done through one of its group companies Aditya Birla Nuvo.

The group has joined the league of big corporate houses like RPG (Spencers), Future Group, Reliance, Bharti Group, Shoppers' Stop, Dabur, Tatas (Trent, Westside) who have all charted big plans for their retail ventures. The latest to join the fray was realty firm Parsvnath. Internationally big retailers like Wal-mart, Carrefour, Tesco and others are also keen to grab a slice of the already booming Indian retail market.

Most of these companies are betting big on the growth of organised retail, which at present has a meager share of just 3-4 per cent. According to a recent survey by ICICI Property Services and Technopak, the Indian retail space is estimated to grow to over $500 billion by 2011 fom the current $330 billion.