The large format stores of Spencer’s Retail witnessed 60 per cent growth in 2008. With 20 hyperstores and superstores in March 2008, the format ended the year with a 32 stores count. However, across five different formats, the company identified about 50 commercially unviable stores, which would be relocated to higher potential catchment areas over the next two to three months, a top company official said.
Further, the company added five new products to its portfolio in the last year in four different categories that include fashion, toys, café and casual dining and furniture. In fashion, Spencer’s added the Beverley Hills Polo Club brand in aspirational but affordable segment and Ladybird for kids in value segment. The toys category includes Chad Valley in value segment, whereas Au Bon Pain was introduced in mid-premium café range and Livin Smart in private label furniture.
“In order to appeal to new Indian customers while retaining the extensive brand equity, we at Spencer’s had launched a retail design programme called ‘Taste the World’. Also we had renovated our store design which helped in gaining increased footfalls in our stores throughout the year,” said Samar Singh Sheikhawat, VP marketing, Spencer’s Retail Ltd.
“Over the next two years, we plan to open another 400 Spencer’s stores, involving an investment of about Rs 200 billion. March 08 ended at Rs 8.15 billion. By March 09, we would be closing at Rs 12.5 billion,” stressed Sheikhawat.
He further went on to say, “The customer sentiment had been very encouraging in 2008. Inspite of the global economic crisis, recessionary and inflationary trends, our sales have seen robust growth of about 5 per cent month-on-month. We hope to close this fiscal with a beat rate of Rs1.3 billion to Rs1.4 billion a month.”
The 32 large format Spencer’s stores which retail products including FMCG, apparels, consumer durables, home care, home décor and office stationary are currently operational in places that include Ambala, Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Baroda, Calicut, Durgapur, Delhi, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Pathankot, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Vizag and Vijayawada, whereas its small format convenience food stores have a pan-India footprint.
— Sarimul Islam Choudhury