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IOC thinks big with convenience store chain

business Updated: Feb 16, 2010 22:14 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
IOC thinks big with convenience store chain

The country's largest fuel retailer Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is planning to open 24-hour C-stores (convenience stores) at its petrol pumps.

With the largest network of 18,700 petrol pumps across the country, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) says it wants to expand its foot prints into organised retail. The oil company has entered into a pact with K.K. Modi’s Godfrey Phillips for opening such C-stores in northern India.

“This is our beginning in organised retail,” said IOC’s chairman and managing director, Sarthak Behuria.

“So far we had a loose structure with individual tie-ups with banks or mobile operators and restaurants,” he added. “We are now beginning to look at tie-ups with companies that already have a presence in the retail side. Godfrey Philips is already operating an extensive retail format in Delhi under the brand Twenty Four Seven.”

In the first phase, 100 such C-stores will be opened in major cities of North India. “We will enter into similar tie-ups with other retail chains for other regions of the country.”

These stores will stock a range of consumer goods including ready to eat foods, music, magazines and would even offer movie tickets.

On how different will these stores be from the existing ones, Behuria said, “There aren’t many stores offering round-the-clock service. We have undertaken studies that have shown that there exists a large clientele who wants such service beyond 10 pm.”