Amidst recent media reports about ABRL owned More chain of supermarkets to sport a new look, Thomas Varghese, CEO, ABRL, in an exclusive interview with IndiaRetailing stated that the relaunch is rather a project which comprises implementation of best retail practices across retail functions.
“The relaunch is an internal working title for a project which entails implementation of best retail practices across every function related. The components of the relaunch include introduction of operational excellence, review of gaps in assortments to make the range more relevant to the catchment, improvement in the supply chain and stock fill and a better offering for customers. This is backed with an effort to get new customers with marketing and visual merchandising support,” said Varghese.
Further informing that the relaunch is focused only around More supermarkets, Varghese told, “Under the project, we are not changing our store interiors, our stores are quite aptly designed with good interiors. What we have introduced is a much more friendly approach to communicating our offering instore with informative signages that explain our quality assurance promise, easy to know price and savings which is the plinth of the modern retail experience, a much more vibrant ambience with the use of colours. In this effort, we are restating our promise of providing more to our customers through quality, savings, service, range and many more such benefits.”
“We will be making planogram changes that will have better adjacencies, some stores will have a new layout where the current layout needs improvement. The shopping experience will improve due to a better assortment, sharper pricing and promotion, stock availability and enhanced customer service through operations excellence.”
Commenting on the conclusions of the ABRL management workshop and the SWOT analysis therein, Varghese stated, “Our strength lies in our network and distribution, IT and Supply chain infrastructure, strong merchandising edge with capabilities as well as capacities. With many other retailers closing in our catchments, we see ourselves in a strong position to exploit the opportunity in the catchment and fill the need gap with our offering.”
“We have had to close a few stores on three accounts: Unviable rent; Unviable catchment and poor location. This is the reality of retailing today and we have not had any exceptional problems in our operation either.”
Informing his business strategy henceforth, Varghese stated, “This year is a year of consolidation for us. We have had an aggressive launch and have a large network of supermarkets. As we speak we are consolidating our operations and businesses for better efficiencies. For the hypermarket, we have launches lined up this year and will be adding four to six hypermarkets this year.”