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Retail Angle Newsletter

27th May, 2009 Vol. 0042

The retail point of view

Retailer Future Group and French chain Carrefour SA had a meeting recently to bring the talks of a partnership back on table. Foreign direct investment rules in India do not allow multi brand retail by a foreign group, but companies with Indian management are allowed to bring in foreign funds in individual subsidiaries. Future Group chairman Kishore Biyani is looking to leverage this for raising money for Future Fashion Merchandise (FFM), a separate unit under Pantaloon Retail.
For more news on Future Group click here ...

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Reliance Retail Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of RIL, will invest about Rs 500 crore to add at least 1 million sq ft of retail space in the fiscal year to March. The expansion will also nudge the company back into hiring mode, with at least 4,000 employees expected to be added to the headcount. The retail firm, as well as its competitors were forced to freeze hiring, slow expansion and shut some stores in the past one year as they were hurt by an economic downturn that slowed consumer spending. Retailers were also hit by high real-estate rental costs that have since declined.
For more news on Reliance Retail click here ...

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As per CEO Atul Chand, ITC lifestyle retail business is working on strategies to counter challenges posed by the current economic environment. Besides being engaged in strategic cost management, the firm is shifting to a revenue sharing model from the present rental format for exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) of John Players and is stressing on lowering rentals for Wills Lifestyle EBOs. They have already shifted 10 John Players stores to a revenue sharing model.ITC has 225 John Players and 50 Wills Lifestyle stores nationwide.
For more news on ITC click here ...

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Canadian coffee chain Esquires New Zealand Limited has entered into a master franchise agreement with Chandigarh-based Big Bang Coffee (BBC) to open coffee houses in India. As per Narbir Singh, CEO Big Bang Coffee, they have plans to open 200-300 stores across the country in the next 5 years. Their first store will open in June in Chandigarh and then in Delhi. In the first phase of operations BBC, as a master licensee, will bring in investment resources, management skills, business experience and knowledge of local markets. In the second phase, BBC will take the sub-franchise route wherein each sub-master licensee will pay BBC a 5-10 % of their daily turnover from the stores they operate for the use of the Esquires trademark and exclusive rights to an area. BBC, on the other hand, will pay around 10 % of the overall store turnover to Esquires in the form of a royalty. Apart from its brand name and product line, Esquires will make available all the backend and front-end operations in India to BBC. The 15-year-old Esquires Coffee House group has presence in New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, UAE, Australia, Japan and Korea.

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Retailers getting designers to create special collections, seems to be the latest fashion fad. Be it Rohit Bal’s jewelry collection for diamond chain Kirtilal’s, Manish Arora’s special line of Signature watches for Swiss watchmaker Swatch or Manish Malhotra lending his signature to an upscale restaurant in Chennai, designers are seeing business opportunities beyond the ramp. Though this is not the first time that designers are branching out into other product categories — Ravi Bajaj opened a cafeteria called Cafe and Raghavendra Rathore launched Les Chocolats De Jodhpore, a few years ago — tying up with existing brands and retail chains is a relatively recent phenomenon. Raghavendra Rathore, recently designed a diamond collection for Zoya, the high-end jewelry retail segment from Tanishq. Tanishq wanted someone from a non-jewelry background with the ability to interpret traditional designs with a modern twist. The designer has also done collections for Carmichael House, the mid-premium home linen brand from the S Kumar stable. Designers branching out into related areas is the done thing in the West but it is only very recently that it has started happening in India.

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Most of the banks involved in the credit restructuring process at retail chain Subhiksha have lost hope of recovering their loans. The question has boiled down to whether banks should cut losses now or put more money behind the chain's managing director R Subramanian who has asked for Rs 300 crore to put the company back on track. If the companies go for liquidation they expect to get nothing since the company has very few assets. Subhiksha's low-capex business model, which, like most other retail chains, was based on rented premises filled with inventory bought on credit. So, for their exposure of Rs 800 crore, banking officials don't even expect the company to be worth Rs 100 crore if sold off in bits and pieces. In the meantime Subhiksha is reported to have submitted some financial documents to the Madras high court on Wednesday. These documents included the company’s balance sheets for four fiscals from 2005-06 to 2008-09 and details on its assets and liabilities. The sealed documents will be opened only on 12 June (the scheduled date for the next hearing of the lawsuit). In the meantime the Madras High Court has reserved its order to grant a stay on Subhiksha Trading Service’s appeal to stop the Reserve Bank of India and Credit Information Bureau (Cibil) to put the company under the “willful defaulter” category.
For more news on Subhiksha click here ...

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Tata Group is gearing up to start an electronic mall through which products made by all group companies would be sold on-line in the next two months. All the products made by all Tata Group companies would be sold through the channel. The proposed e-mall of the Tata Group is aimed at serving people who find it difficult to spend time on shopping and ensuring them convenience of shopping at home thereby saving their time and efforts.

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A International Quick Service Restaurants Chain
District Manager - Mumbai
For more info. Click Here


A reputed national retail brand
Store Manager
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A reputed national retail brand
Buyer/Category Manager
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A leading Buying House based at Gurgaon
Asst. Manager/ Sr.Designer
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For more jobs Click Here
A pre-determined area within a store that is given to a brand – normally on consignment terms. The area is managed and branded by the brand. Also known as shop-in-shop.

Mom and pop stores
Independent stores that are owned and run by the family unit (by mom and pop). The bulk of the stores in India fall in this category.

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The following are examples of the main performance ‘reports’ a retailer is likely to need regardless of whether this information is actually printed out or is viewed on screen. You will note that some reports are no more than a ‘drill down’ to a different level of detail from another report.

The contents of each report is indicative and the performance measures you will have available will depend on the capabilities of system and database. In all cases you need to be able to compare actual performance of all key metrics to Plan, Last Year if comparative data is available, and Forecast, either using a variance or the absolute values, as well as to review the Sales, Stock and Margin participation.

To read the complete article click here ...

© Keith Dunn 2007 All Rights Reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission. The articles in this series are extracted from Keith Dunn’s The Principles of Merchandise Planning and Management, the definitive planning manual for buying and merchandising professionals and the basis for the Avatar training programs used by retailers including Tesco, the Cooperative Group, Bananama (Russia) and Faith Shoes. For earlier chapters visit our website

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Company Name
Market Capitalisation in Crores
Share Price as on 25/05/09
Share Price as on 01/04/09 % change since 01/04/09
Pantaloon Retail
5331.97 309.10 162.75 89.92% 38.96
4616.27 1052.20 784.05 34.20% 27.17
Rei Six Ten Retail 3297.89 1140.50 - - -
Koutons 1286.52 421.25 442.80 -4.87% 16.29
Bata India
1021.79 152.15 113.40 34.17% 17.02
924.00 487.05 327.60 48.67% 38.84
Provogue India
739.18 59.20 35.20 68.18% 27.02
Shoppers Stop
606.67 182.05 101.90 78.66% -


226.35 256.70 175.95 45.89% 12.35
184.74 18.48 8.34 121.58% 18.87
Kewal Kiran
178.10 140.15 100.10 40.01% 12.48
Vishal Retail 142.90 60.80 36.55 66.35% 4.66
Brandhouse Retails 120.63 23.90 16.40 45.73% -
Liberty Shoes
107.35 62.60 39.15 59.90% 15.22
Archies 56.55 72.55 46.00 57.72% 18.48
IB Retail
40.14 19.12 12.35 54.82% -
Celebrity Fashions
30.94 16.52 10.15 62.76% -

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Kewal Kiran Clothing has announced that the company has raised funds to the tune of Rs 806 million by issuing 3.10 million equity shares of Rs 10 each at a premium of Rs 250 a share. The proceeds from the issue would be utilized for capital expenditure in setting up new manufacturing facilities, expansion of distribution network by opening additional exclusive outlets, building corporate office and to meet general corporate purposes.
For more news on Kewal Kiran click here ...

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Increasingly retailers are moving towards the shop in shop model with specialty brands. Future Group plans to offer a wider choice in large-format stores like Big Bazaar by setting up specialty zones under the shop-in-shop model. Shopper’s Stop recently tied up with Cafe Coffee Day to manage cafes within its stores. As per Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of Retailers Association of India the most common categories where retailers are looking for shop-in-shop outlets include food and beverage, saris and areas which have more customer connect requirement like cosmetics, personal care products, fine jewelry and salons. Shop in shops provide the retailer with a dual advantage. On the one hand the retailer is able to leverage the domain knowledge of specialty players, and on the other since the shop in shop occupant is required to guarantee a minimum return on space occupied, the retailer is assured of basic costs being taken care of. Retail models like Central and Home Town are based entirely on the shop in shop model while other retailers are adopting it as part of their sales mix.

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According to the latest Nielsen Shopper Trend India Report, Indian shoppers have continued to embrace the modern trade format but the rate of adoption of the format had slowed down in 2008 compared to 2007. Traditional grocery stores continue to dominate the Indian retail scene and are frequented more often by shoppers. Even as 39 %of grocery buyers visited a supermarket/hypermarket at least once in four weeks, 97 %of them visited a traditional store over the same period, the report said. The number of customers frequenting supermarkets and hypermarkets had grown by 11 %in the eight key metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune, compared to the last round of ShopperTrends conducted in November 2007, said the Nielsen report. Modern trade has given consumers more options to experiment, resulting in shoppers flirting across store banners. Convenience is the key word for India’s modern-day shopper, and the location of a store is a priority for them.

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The Gurgaon-based firm, which currently retails global luxury brands like Jimmy Choo, Canali, Kenzo and Just Cavalli, plans to add more brands and is in talks with a few more European labels, besides planning to add more stores in the domestic and oversees market. They currently have 17 stores in the luxury segment. The firm, which owns homegrown labels such as Satya Paul, Deepika Gihani, Samsaara and Sobha De, plans to expand its presence in international markets beyond Singapore and the Middle East, where it is present currently. Plans are on to set up more stores in places like South Africa, Morocco and New York, he said. In India, Genesis Colors will open about 40 accessories outlets, following up on its recent tie up with London-based fashion accessories firm, Tie Rack.

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US-based watch maker Fossil India is expanding its presence through multi-brand outlets by adding up to 350 points of sale this year. The company will expand through key department stores, specialty chains and high-end watch outlets. Fossil India recently ventured into eyewear and leather accessories segment, with its range of sunglasses, belts and wallets. Internationally, the company also sells men and women footwear, apparel and jewelry. As of now, In India, it will launch only women’s footwear by the end of 2009. Later, the company will enter into men’s footwear too. The company hopes to bring its stainless steel jewelry range in India too, depending upon the market conditions. There are no plans to introduce the apparel range of Fossil in India. The company wishes to enter single-brand retailing only if there is relaxation in foreign direct investment norms. Globally, Fossil does not have any partner and the outlets are all company owned.

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The best retail employer is:
Future Group (Pantaloon, Big Bazaar)
Landmark Group (Lifestyle, Max)
Shoppers Stop
Trent (Westside, Star Bazaar, Landmark)
Vishal Retail
Aditya Birla Retail (More, Madura brands)

To vote and see results click here ...



Marks & Spencer's is celebrating 125 years in business with a throwback to the early days and has launched a 1p bazaar involving millions of items. There have been reports of people queuing overnight and goods disappearing within a few moments of opening. This has led to some angry scenes created by disappointed customers! Marks & Spencer is one of the bellwethers of the UK retail sector and even though the company itself has been through a number of difficult periods it has outlived many of its more established competitors.
For more news on Marks & Spencer click here ...

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Nike's sales in Europe fell in the last three months. As a response Nike has said it will cut about 1,750 jobs in the largest headcount reduction in its history as it strives to clamp down on costs. The cuts amount to about 5% of Nike's 35,000 global workforce. About 500 of the jobs lost will be at Nike's headquarters in Oregon. No other details were given about the location of the cuts. Nike said it hoped to complete the reductions in the coming weeks. It first warned that it would have to reduce its headcount in February, and in March it said it planned to halt production at three shoe factories in China and one in Vietnam.
For more news on Nike click here ...

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Sunny weather and a late Easter holiday last month saw retail sales grow at their fastest rate in three years, according to latest figures from British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG. Shoppers bought summer clothes, gardening equipment and outdoor leisure gear with like-for-like comparable sales values across all categories bounced up 4.6% in April, compared to a fall of 1.2% in the previous month. A sunny Easter that fell in April this year is the key reason why overall sales are up compared with last year when Easter was in March and miserable. Sales of garden goods, outdoor leisure, clothing and food did well but other non-food sectors missed out on the seasonal boost and the total spent on food rose less than food inflation, indicating the amount sold dropped.

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Bindu Sharma is a Delhi based retail consultant. She can be contacted at

Back in the nineties when the retail revolution began in India a team of professionals from export industry started their retail careers as buyers of a large British company that was setting up retail stores across the country.

Plans were finalised to roll out four stores by the end of first year of operation. All buyers were given budgets to work on range plans and open to buy for the upcoming season. Buying plans were put into action and orders placed based on the same.

The same year appeared the big Asian currency crash of the decade and all plans for expansion were put on hold. A lot of the merchandise that was bought started to seem like a really bad idea. Where ever possible orders were cancelled or put on hold. However there were still some orders that could not be cancelled as the products were all ready for delivery. Diwali came and went and achieving sales targets became a challenge if not an impossible task. Amongst all the merchandise that was bought for the home department there was a “puja thali” that we thought would be novel product to sell during Diwali in the Indian market. This was just a gut feeling as there were no records or analysis to prove the salability of this or any other product category in the home segment. As luck would have it the single store was unable to sell a large portion of the one thousand pieces that were bought for four stores as three of the targeted stores never saw the light of the day before Diwali!! Then came Christmas and time to put our best foot forward to enjoy the end of a difficult and beginning of a promising year. As per tradition the office had Christmas party and everybody received gifts. The home buyer however was asked to un wrap the gift in front of all the people present at the party. What was found inside the wrapping was a beautiful Diwali puja set in its original packaging with a note that said 999 more to go!

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The level of shrinkage in the organized retail market in India is worrying. It is being said that most retailers have no idea of the actual level of shrinkage on account of a poor tracking mechanism, but industry estimates put it between 3% to 5%. And what is more shocking is that a significant portion of this shrinkage is said to be coming from the retailers own staff. A lot of care has been taken by retailers to protect themselves from customer theft – magnetic tags, magnetic sensors at the doors etc. (D’mart in Mumbai had an interesting protection mechanism. When I visited the store they put my handbag in a cloth bag which was then sealed. I carried this sealed cloth bag into the store and when it was time for me to pay for my buy, the cashier broke open the seal on the cloth bag so I could get my purse and after paying I entered the exit line). However, not enough care has been taken to protect the retailer from internal theft. Bata, one of the oldest organized retailers in India had worked out a good method for themselves. The Bata store manager would get a small allowance for shrinkage - 0.25% if I remember correctly, Stock takes were done on a fortnightly basis and shrinkage was adjusted accordingly. If the manager maintained shrinkage within 0.25% he stood to gain, if he went beyond that amount the money was deducted from his salary. You can be rest assured therefore that Bata had the most vigilant store managers. I understand that retailers have started putting together loss prevention teams whose job is to contain shrinkage within the system, and there is now a greater accountability being expected from the store team, but there is still a long way to go.

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