After starting operations in 2003, Metro Cash & Carry’s first wholesale distribution opened in Bengaluru, followed by the opening of another 15 centres across the country with customers that include small-scale retailers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, caterers, corporates, et cetera. In 2013, Metro Cash & Carry was offering close to 10,000 world-class products across various categories that included general grocery, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, frozen and bakery, fish and meat, confectionery, detergents and cleaning supplies, health and beauty products as well as a range of household products. Metro even had the stocks tailor made to meet specific clientele located at different regions with the help of better mechanisms. This year, Metro has strategised its focus on the growth of their own customers. Vishal Sehgal – Head Corporate Relations and Spokesperson, Metro Cash & Carry India talks to IMAGES Retail regarding the company’s new brand positioning to You & Metro.
What has led to the re-branding of Metro Cash & Carry?
From wholesale store for professional customers to leading international self-service wholesaler – our company has charted an unprecedented path of growth over the past five decades. The basis for this success was and continues to remain the good relationships we have established with our professional customers. The better we support their daily businesses, the stronger we build on our relationships with them. To put it another way, what is good for our customers is also good for Metro Cash & Carry.
This attitude is at the heart of our new brand positioning: You & Metro. Metro Cash & Carry makes an important contribution by helping our customers successfully grow their businesses and unleash their entrepreneurial spirit. We are committed to providing the best possible support to our customers so they can achieve their goals. With our exceptional service, top-quality products, and our far-reaching expertise, we have gained over the years fresh new ideas. We want to be a champion for independent businesses, putting ourselves in the shoes of our professional customers at all times. Their initiative, their creativity, their courage and their passion serve as our motivation to always be the best in our business.
The message You & Metro gets to the heart of how important close relationships are to achieving mutual success – in relationships between Metro Cash & Carry and its customers, as well as those with business partners and employees.
Will there be a change in the business model?
Metro’s business model will continue to remain the same in India, where we look forward to growing and developing our Cash & Carry model beyond our current presence. As announced recently, we are looking to expand our presence in the country to 50 wholesale outlets by the year 2020, and we hope to achieve this through the highest standards of operational excellence, supply chain efficiency and customer service.
According to you, what has been the change in trends in cash and carry format retailing in the
past few years?
With greater investments in supply chain infrastructure, a more conducive policy environment, as well as a stronger and self-sustaining economy, we at Metro believe that the Cash & Carry model is increasingly becoming a sustainable model for the Indian market.
What are the major challenges faced by Cash & Carry formats? How do you tackle issues related to supply chain?
Metro is committed to an efficient supply chain, enabling better food supplies across the country. So we have set up centres for fruits and vegetables collection across our markets to procure fresh produce directly from farmers, who are informed in advance of the requirement and can plan their harvest accordingly. Fresh produce is transported and delivered directly to its network of distribution centres within 12–15 hours of harvest. In addition, cultivators of fruits and vegetables find an expanded market in Metro’s vast and diverse customer base across the country. Farmers now get better value for their produce, as Metro eliminates multi-handling of goods and invests in supply chain efficiency.
We also support our farmers and small manufacturer suppliers with intensive training interventions, backed by stringent quality guidelines for all business partners. Our training objectives include implementing international standards and certification systems, and meeting customer requirements in terms of food quality and safety.
What has been the turnover at Metro in the past one year? What kind of growth rate is expected?
We do not comment on investment or financial figures.
What are your plans for expansion? Are there any new categories being added?
While we are now looking at expanding to 50 wholesale outlets by the end of the year 2020, we have always maintained that we are driven by our own strategic operators – whether we are navigating new markets, adapting, localising or fortifying our presence. Our growth has been steady and at our own pace, based on internal and environmental factors.
What happens to waste or damaged goods?
In accordance with our company policy, waste, expired or damaged goods are destroyed and disposed of in the most sustainable manner. For instance, our wet garbage is processed for use by municipal authorities in the production of organic manure, while other waste is treated by our own sewage treatment plants to ensure minimal pollution to the environment.