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Odyssey on major expansion spree

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Odyssey, one of the leading chains of bookstores, opened its store number 26, the eighth outlet in Chennai. On the cards are over 40 new openings for the current year.

Confirming the news to Indiaretailing, TS Ashwin, managing director, Odyssey, said, “ We have been in restructuring mode and got a new team in place, which will be active within a month to start implementing the major expansion plans that have already been chalked out. We are targeting 40 stores across India.”

Ashwin did not divulge financial details saying, “Odyssey is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited. It’s the parent company who’s taking care of the finances.”

Asked about competition in the book retailing business, Ashwin said, “Though the competition is growing with many new brands introducing various retailing concepts, what can help us retain and compete is the positioning of the stores. What we must get right is the understanding of the catchments wherever we open a store. We have eight stores in Chennai, and all of them were opened after thoroughly studying the catchments, so that they do not hamper each other’s business.”

Discussing customers’ reading preferences, Ashwin confirmed that, as a whole, fiction is still the most preferred segment followed by self-help and management books, while children’s books are also gaining popularity. He asserted that the South has more readers as compared to the rest of India, based on the fact that the company’s southern stores sell the most.

– Ranjan Kaplish

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