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Shoppers Stop to enter smaller cities

business Updated: Aug 11, 2010 11:37 IST

IANS
Highlight Story

Shoppers Stop, the popular retain chain that has presence in major metros, is now foraying into smaller cities, opening 10-12 stores by the end of 2010.

The K. Raheja-promoted company, which has positioned itself as a "bridge to luxury" brand, will open department stores in cities such as Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Jalandhar, Ludhania, Mysore and Vijayawada with a total investment of Rs.120 crore.

The retailer sees increased growth potential in the national capital region (NCR) as sales have been growing substantially every year.

"You won't believe that while overall India was battling the economic downturn in the last two years, our sales in the NCR region were up by 20 percent," Govind Shrikhande, managing director, told the news agency.

"Today, this region continues to grow at the rate of 40 percent, which is because the people in this region have good taste for brands; hence we make sure we have a wider assortment of brands here to add more customers in our kitty," he added.

The retail chain on Tuesday launched its seventh store in the capital at the Ambience mall in Vasant Kunj. At present the company has 33 Shopper's Stop outlets in 14 cities.

Shopper's Stop houses an array of international brands like Austin Reed, Mustang, Gas and Vettorio Fratini.

Talking about the retail market, Shrikhande said consumption is growing and a lot of malls are opening all over India. Big brands and small time players are jumping into the market to make their presence felt, resulting in high rentals.

"High rents have always been a state of concern of every brand who want to position themselves in the market. Last year, rent rates were as high as 12-15 percent, but now it has come down to 7-12 percent, giving relief to many of us," said Shrikhande.

"But I firmly believe in the revenue-share model as it benefits both parties without putting pressure on any single body. As we all know that it takes a minimum of 6-7 months for a mall to pick-up, so there will be fewer footfalls. But as soon as business picks up, things go well," he added.

Shrikhande also pointed out that this model has helped business partners to grow through thick and thin and enjoy the fruits of benefit. The group is therefore planning to launch four HyperCity hypermarkets and other stores on this business module.

The company operates other formats like shop-in-shop stores like HomeStop (home furnishing), Crossword (bookstores), M.A.C (cosmetics), Airport Retailing and Mothercare.

According to Shrikhande, the success mantra of the chain lies in the fact that they interact regularly with their customers.

"You can't run a retail store without interacting regularly with your clients or getting their feedback to give them an amazing shopping experience," he said.

"Hence this time we have changed our trial-rooms and made them more spacious and made some changes like having a mobile holder, a cushioned seat for a person accompanying you to the trail room, so that one doesn't have to come out of the room to show the fit.

"These might be small but very important changes because they give a message that we care," he added.