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Organized Retailers: Buyers of Products and Services

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Future Group
















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Future Group

Future Group is the Indian retail industry leader that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores; India's largest retail chain in both value and lifestyle formats. Future Group also owns Central Hypermarket, Brand Factory, eZONE, HomeTown,, and KB's Fair Price, apart from Big Bazaar. At the heart of the end-to-end supply chain of Future Group are three steps - store, move and deliver - at every leg, one is told. That one cycle could take anything from 300 to 700 days for, say, an apparel, from the time of plucking cotton to buying the dress. More scientifically, the supply chain would mean warehousing, transportation, storage, inventory holding, packaging and even wastage, all adding to a $200-bn industry in India, of which roughly $20 bn could be the retail logistics/back-end pie.

Future Group is probably the only retail chain to have a back-end operation in the sprawling Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (Mihan), a 4,300-hectare complex meant for industry logistics, apart from airport and township. Future, in a joint venture with Hong Kong's Li & Fung, handles around 500,000 pieces a day - everything non-food, from apparel to electronic devices, furniture, toys, luggage and accessories, from a facility spread over 367,000 sq ft. The group has decided to take a second building in the same complex, which could be used as a transport hub or for frozen food. The annual supply chain/logistics spend of the Future group is pegged at around Rs 250 crore. Products being transported can be tracked second by second. The entire transportation is by road here through seven road corridors across the country, and transit time doesn't exceed 48 hours to any place from Nagpur.


Tata Group

Tata group is another major player in Indian retail industry with its subsidiary Trent, which operates Westside and Star India Bazaar. Established in 1998, it also acquired the largest book and music retailer in India ‘Landmark’ in 2005. Trent owns over 4 lakh sq. ft retail space across the country. The Tata group has a strong and longstanding business in watches and jewellery, and a growing presence in the retail industry.

RPG Group

RPG Group is one of the earlier entrants in the Indian retail market, when it came into food & grocery retailing in 1996 with its retail Foodworld stores. Later it also opened the pharmacy and beauty care outlets ‘Health & Glow’.

Reliance is one of the biggest players in Indian retail industry. More than 300 Reliance Fresh stores and Reliance Mart are quite popular in the Indian retail market. [Read RETAIL IN INDIA UPDATE at the end of this compilation]


AV Birla Group

AV Birla Group has a strong presence in Indian apparel retailing. The brands like Louis Phillipe, Allen Solly, Van Heusen, Peter England are quite popular. It's also investing in other segments of retail. It will invest Rs. 8000-9000 crores by 2010. [FMCG products, fruits, vegetables, groceries, frozen food, bakery, homecare, personal care, pharmacy, general merchandise and basic range of apparels]

Retail formats in India

Large self-servicing outlets offering products from a variety of categories.

  • Mom-and-pop stores: they are family owned business catering to small sections; they are individually handled retail outlets and have a personal touch.
  • Departmental stores: are general retail merchandisers offering quality products and services.
  • Convenience stores: are located in residential areas with slightly higher prices goods due to the convenience offered.
  • Shopping malls: the biggest form of retail in India, malls offers customers a mix of all types of products and services including entertainment and food under a single roof.
  • E-trailers: are retailers providing online buying and selling of products and services.
  • Discount stores: these are factory outlets that give discount on the MRP.
  • Vending: it is a relatively new entry, in the retail sector. Here beverages, snacks and other small items can be bought via vending machine.
  • Category killers: small specialty stores that offer a variety of categories. They are known as category killers as they focus on specific categories, such as electronics and sporting goods. This is also known as Multi Brand Outlets or MBO's.
  • Specialty stores: are retail chains dealing in specific categories and provide deep assortment. Mumbai's Crossword Book Store and RPG's Music World are a couple of examples.

Challenges facing Indian retail industry

  • The tax structure in India favors small retail business
  • Lack of adequate infrastructure facilities
  • High cost of real estate
  • Dissimilarity in consumer groups
  • Restrictions in Foreign Direct Investment
  • Shortage of retail study options
  • Shortage of trained manpower
  • Low retail management skill

The Future
The Indian retail industry has been thrown open to foreign majors and is packed with players who strive to offer great products and value-for-money to Indian consumers. The country holds vast promise for retailers with its burgeoning spending power and rising middle class.

The US$ 500 billion market, growing at an annual rate of about 20 per cent, is largely dominated by small shops and stores as of now. The organised segment is in its nascent stage and has huge potential to harness in the sub-continent. Foreign giants like Wal-mart and IKEA have recently received the Government’s nod to enter the Indian market, after making all the necessary compliances.

Market Size

  • India’s retail market is majorly dominated by the unorganised sector. Organised segment accounts for 8 per cent of the total retail landscape, according to a study by Booz & Co and RAI.
  • The Indian retail industry has expanded by 10.6 per cent between 2010 and 2012 and is expected to increase to US$ 750-850 billion by 2015, according to another report by Deloitte. Food and Grocery is the largest category within the retail sector with 60 per cent share followed by Apparel and Mobile segment.
  • The foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in single-brand retail trading during April 2000 to December 2012 stood at US$ 95.36 million, as per the data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Online Retail:

Internet is the buzzword in India these days. People have online access 24x7 through their laptops, iPads and mobile phones. As a result they have continued access to online retail markets as well.

Online retailers are emerging as important sales channels for consumer brands in India as more and more people, especially the young generation, are shopping online. From apparel to accessories, kids and infants’ product lines and almost everything under-the-sun is available on the net these days. Apparel and accessory brands, such as Puma, Nike and Wrangler, have recorded a big increment in online sales in 2012, led largely by purchases from smaller towns and cities with consumers paying the full price for these products.

For instance, footwear brand Nike has tie-ups only with online retailers such as Myntra and Jabong. And in a very unique initiative, it recently launched its new range of cricket gear on Jabong. Such partnerships turn out to be very successful as online retailers provide greater visibility than a physical store. "Our online store can carry around 10,000 options, while an offline store can carry only 20 per cent of a given range," said an official.

Online retail in India is projected to grow to US$ 76 billion by 2021, accounting for over 5 per cent of the Indian retail industry, according to a report by advisory services firm Technopak. This forecast is encouraging more companies- big and small- to sell aggressively online. Experts believe that much of this growth will come from the rising purchasing power of consumers in smaller cities, who do not have access to brick-and-mortar stores stocking high-end brands.



              Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia, Business Standard, Mint




Brick & mortar retail goes online

Raymond created its protagonist - The Complete Man - two decades ago. Today, he lives on, partly through his new digital alpha male avatar. The 89-year old brand launched three months ago. It's an online portal to dress up contemporary men and women, reflecting their style quotients at work and play.

Raymond is not the only one. A handful of brick and mortar retail businesses of the A V Birla group, Reliance Industries, Tatas, Arvind and 
Future group have joined the e-commerce bandwagon to drive sales. Relaince Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, which started its online play with grocery e-tailing Reliance Fresh Direct in Mumbai, is now planning to sell electronics like mobiles and laptops online.

A V Birla group on the other hand has set up a separate team to establish online presence. Madura Fashion & Lifestyle, which owns brands such as Louis Philippe and 
Allen Solly, already sells through, the A V Birla group's online store. In the electronics space, while regional chains such as Viveks and Vijay Sales have adopted the e-route, Tata group's Croma also sells through its online stores, besides partnering with e-commerce players like Snapdeal.


"We are surprised at the pace of digital adoption," said Vijay Basrur, head of e-commerce in Raymond. Customers are fast embracing the online channel. "We are building our back-end to deliver to customers directly. The portal will have a portfolio of Raymond products including Park Avenue, Parx and ColorPlus. Currently, online contributes 3%-5% to our overall sales. It will go up to 7% in the next two years," Basrur added. Raymond also has partnerships with e-tailers like Flipkart, Myntra and Jabong.

Forrester estimates that Indian online retail spending will reach $16 billion by 2018, from $3 billion at present, and the number of online buyers will touch 128 million in the same period. Recently, Reebok India has designed a structure where its retail partners and the company can join hands to ensure that the buyer gets a product of its choice online. Bata India is looking at a similar route.

Despite his opposition to the discount strategy adopted by e-commerce players, Kishore Biyani-led Future Group is investing Rs 100 crore of his own to roll out an omni-channel retail strategy to give customers a seamless experience across both the physical and digital worlds. "It is about building technology-enabled platforms that allow customers to order from anywhere (homes, from within stores, while they are traveling), on any platform (shops, mobile, laptops) and get the merchandise anywhere (at the store, at their doorstep or at collection points)," said Biyani. Future Group has a team of data scientists that is working closely with its operational teams to grow its omni-channel platform.

The retailer has partnered with customer science company Dunnhumby to analyse the consumer data generated from the group's retail network so that it can better engage with its customers. "We do around 700 transactions every minute. The JV is focused on leveraging our customer loyalty database," Biyani said. The group has also tied up with Infinite Analytics, a big data and social data analytics company, co-founded by two MIT graduates. Infinite's flagship product SocialGenomix uses natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and predictive analytics to understand user behaviour online.

Similarly, Arvind , one of the country's oldest textile and apparel brand houses, has launched Creyate, a custom clothing brand for men and women that allows customers to do everything from the comfort of their homes. They can design their own garments and book home visits by Arvind's style stewards, who will take measurements and provide consultancy. "

"Creyate intends to offer an alternative to ready-to-wear as well as traditional custom clothing. It targets to cross Rs 100 crore by next year. Our digitized concept retail stores are a well thought-out extension that facilitates customers' yearning to create their own style statements, by literally letting you wear your personality on your sleeve," said Kulin Lalbhai, executive director in Arvind which has a portfolio of brands include Flying Machine, Colt, Ruggers and Excalibur. Creyate is launching stores in 15 cities within the next year in addition to the existing stores in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Delhi. Arvind Internet plans to launch a multi-brand apparel and accessories site by mid next year.

Shilpa Phadnis, TNN | Dec 30, 2014, 05.57AM IST