Jmart Pvt. Ltd. is a chain of convenience stores in Delhi-NCR promoted by Alisha Retail Private Limited, a part of RJ Corp – the largest bottler for Pepsico – with diversified interests in beverages, food, beer, milk, ice-cream, stem-cell, real estate and education. One of its associate companies is Devyani International Limited, which runs the popular south Indian QSR chain Vaango and is the largest franchisee for Pizza Hut, KFC and Costa Coffee in India. Progressive Grocer spoke to MD, Jmart, Devyani Jaipuria about the company’s astounding success in rolling out 100 stores in two years and carving a formidable niche in the small retail format by dint of its dynamic product assortment and their quality, a bouquet of utilitarian services as well as offering customers unmatched value for money and value for time.
What is the customer proposition and marketing positioning of Jmart stores?
Jmart Pvt. Ltd. is a chain of convenience stores offering good quality products, an assortment relevant to the daily shopping needs, neat and clean stores, great service, and value for money to our customers without compromising on their comfort.
Our mission is to make life a little easier for our customers by being where they need us and whenever they need us. That is why we are located right next to the home or office of our target customers, and have extended hours of operations with some of our stores open round the clock.
With the retail landscape changing drastically in recent times, the customer value proposition has also started changing significantly. It is no longer just about value for money but also about value of time, which is a prime consideration with shoppers today. In times to comes, convenience of shopping will become an even more significant factor for customers in deciding the choice of their shopping destination.
What advantages have your stores been able to get by their focused location strategy?
Our mission is to make shopping convenient for our customers and so we locate our stores in gated residential complexes, inside large office complexes, or metro stations. This ensures that whenever a customer needs to buy a product or service, we are the closest and the most convenient option for him/ her. This is particularly important in the case of daily need categories like milk, fruits and vegetables, dairy, bread and eggs, etc. And also categories where the customer requires instant gratification as in the case of products like ice cream, beverages, snacks and fresh food. Our location strategy also allows us to deliver products to our customers faster than any other format.
As a matter of fact, by virtue of being located inside gated complexes, parents allow their young children to shop with us independently. This also shows the trust we have been able to garner for our fair dealing and transparency.
What is the typical customer profile of shoppers in your store?
Our location strategy puts us in close proximity of our customers and also helps us define and know our customers better than most other retail formats. We cater mainly to SEC A and B customers. In terms of age and gender, we cater to all consumer segments by keeping our offerings relevant for everyone. So our customers include everyone from small kids looking for a candy to young millennial shoppers and from working couples perennially short of time to housewives and elders.
What are you doing to attract the young generation – the Millennial shopper?
Research shows that Millennial shoppers not only have very different expectations but they are also transforming the shopping behaviour of their parents. This generation has huge exposure and their digital learning curve is very steep. They expect a seamless shopping experience that encompasses a dynamic assortment, quality, value, great service, and they want instant gratification. The expectations and influence of this generation will change the retail landscape in our country faster than most retailers expect. But understanding them and fulfilling their expectations will be the difference between success and failure for retailers in the not-so-distant future.
When it comes to understanding and catering to this customer segment, technology has to be the instrument of choice. We are in the process of developing an app that will provide seamless experience to customers – not just for shopping for products, but also providing a bouquet of services, coupons and offers, community updates, etc. At the same time, we are building the organization to be able to work seamlessly and to ensure that we exceed customer expectations.
Tell us about the product range available in your store.
We carry a full range of what most customers need on a day to day basis. But being a small format store, we limit the number of brands and pack sizes that we carry in our stores. Our assortment is also different for residential, office and metro stores. Broadly the categories that we carry in our stores are dairy, fruits and vegetables, packaged food, beverages, confectionery, staples, ready to eat and ready to cook, cleaning supplies, health and personal care, baby products, stationery, etc. We also offer a range of services in our stores. Apart from all this, a big differentiator for us is GRUBB – our own range of fresh snacks and mini meals.
Which are the new and emerging categories in your stores?
Right now, the fastest growing category in our stores is GRUBB – our own range of fresh snacks and mini meals. Besides, fruits and vegetables, dairy, bread and eggs are the out-performing categories for us. The emerging category for us is services. We currently provide services like mobile recharge, DTH recharge, bill payments, money transfer, courier services, and pathology testing services. We are in the process of augmenting our suite of service offerings and will be adding more and varied services to this list over the next few months.
Which brands across categories are the bestsellers in your store?
We work with selected brands in each category. But we treat brands as our partners to offer the best assortment and value to our customers. Some of the prominent brands in our stores are PepsiCo beverages, Tropicana juices, Lays/Kurkure snacks, Creambell ice cream, Cadbury, Britannia, and ITC brands.
Who are the top suppliers and vendors for your stores?
The top suppliers are PepsiCo, Amul, ITC and Creambell.
What is the method that you follow for product and merchandise display and have you taken any recent initiatives to make it more vibrant and customer friendly?
We keep it simple when it comes to product displays. Working with limited brands and SKUs helps the customer quickly find what they are looking for. We give prominence to seasonal, regional and new products. Being in close proximity of customers provides us with great insights into the precise preferences they have, which helps us in customising our assortment and displays to each catchment.