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    Trent on starry expansion spree

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    Trent, the retail arm of , opened its first Star Bazaar hypermarket in the South in Bengaluru. The company plans to open six hypermarkets in Bengaluru in the next three years. Launched in 2004, Trent runs a Star Bazaar outlet in Ahmedabad and one in Mumbai.

    “We are focused on expanding Star Bazaar in southern and western markets. After Bengaluru, we intend to move on to other south Indian cities like Hyderabad and Chennai. We expect to have at least six Star Bazaars in Bengaluru in the next three years’ time,” an official at Trent told Indiaretailing.

    The Tata Group, which manages three retail formats through the Rs 700 crore Trent, will focus on the southern and western markets as it expands its hypermarkets (Star Bazaar), garment retailing chain () and the book and music chain (Landmark). At present, Trent has 14 stores in South India.

    The company currently has 28 Westside stores, 3 Star Bazaar stores, and 10 Landmark stores. According to the official, the number of stores across formats will touch 100 in three years from the present 41, and nearly 30 per cent of the expansion will be in South India. “We expect to maintain the 30-35 per cent growth in our revenues this year too,” the official added.

    Spread across 75,000 square feet, the Bengaluru store, which is the largest so far, retails apparels, a wide choice of staple food, beverages, health and beauty products, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, consumer electronics and household items at the most affordable prices.

    Announcing the launch of Star Bazaar, , head of marketing, Trent, said: “Retail boom in Bengaluru is unprecedented and it is our privilege to launch the first Star Bazaar in the city. Star Bazaar is a one-stop shop for all and promises to make shopping a convenient and exciting affair. We have the widest variety of products ranging from groceries to apparel, all at the lowest prices with great quality and service.”

    In 1998, Trent started off with the launch of Westside, a lifestyle retail chain, which was followed up in 2004 with Star India Bazaar, a hypermarket with a large assortment of products at competitive prices. In 2005, it acquired Landmark, India’s largest book and music retailer. For 2006-07 fiscal, the company reported a total income of Rs 631.86 crore and a PAT of Rs 33.2 crore.

    Meanwhile, there are reports that Tata Group, which has a strategic partnership with Woolworth of Australia, have put in place a roadmap to launch the supermarket format in India, which will compete with FoodWorld and Spencer’s.

    Tata, through another firm, , has already rolled out the chain of retail stores, for selling consumer durables and appliances.

    For the record, Trent had earlier on agreed to anchor 12 malls set up by Universal Ltd across the country, through its Westside, Landmark and Star Bazaar outlets. This amounts to about 27 locations, totalling to about a million square feet of space.

    – Vishnu Rageev R, Bengaluru Bureau