2016 has been a coming of the age year for retail industry in India. There has been a significant movement towards digitisation within the sector and it has witnessed exponential growth driven by rising incomes, favourable demographics, easing for FDI norms, and increasing urbanisation. The country is also at the cusp of becoming world’s fastest growing e-commerce market led by robust investments in this sector and rapid increase in the number of Internet users.
Keeping the above trends in mind, we at Spencers have tried to evolve our business with time. We have expanded our brick-and-mortar stores across locations to increase our trading area presence by almost 10 per cent in 2016 and are currently present in over 35 cities across India. Consumers view us as synonymous with quality, and hence their preferred food destination, and now we plan to extend a similar offering in the non-food space as well with categories such as apparel, electronics, home and kitchenware.
We also forayed into e-commerce with the launch of our online portal (www.spencers.in) in Kolkata and NCR for added convenience to our customers with the same trust and quality that Spencers stands for. We are looking to target more than 2 million shoppers through this platform over time and offering them an end-to-end Omnichannel experience. Building on our strength of being a food-first retailer, we are providing differentiated services such as freshly cut fish and meat, price parity with our offline stores, and no-questions asked refusal policy makes Spencers.in a preferred shopping platform. The initial response has been overwhelming from our shoppers. Going forward, we would want our Omnichannel experience (e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores) to touch the majority of our customers.
Spencer’s has always built its business around its customers. In 2016, we have further strengthened our CRM program. We are now resolving customer queries within two working hours and have cultivated open communication platforms including web chat, social media, email and a toll free hotline number to directly interact with our customers. The aim is to provide a memorable and a holistic shopping experience for everyone at Spencers, with immediate redressal for customer grievances.
Spencer’s also believes that a company is a reflection of the people who work in it. In 2016, we devised many employee-centric policies including flexi-working hours, discretionary holiday calendar, introduced several learning and development modules and highly focus on rewards and recognition for high performing employees to keep them motivated. We have also introduced a one of a kind step-up program for our in-store employees who start their careers with limited academic exposure to encourage them back into education.