Generating critical mass with viable entities and eliminating non-core or under-performing business was prominent refrain in retail. Big-box retailers and online players focussed on their core business strengths and thereby scaled up efficiencies by either consolidating or/ and acquiring complementary outfits. Over 200 acquisitions and acqui-hires were recorded in the retail ecosystem (both online and offline), as per YourStory.com.
Among the headline makers,Bharti Retail decided to hand over Easyday chain to an organisation who clearly understood the nuts and bolts of mass retail better. Future Group added Easyday to its ever-enlarging repertoire, in the process becoming the No. 2 retailer in India with a USD 15,000 crore business and 550 stores.
On the other side, the conglomerate’s Pantaloons chain, which had been seen off to the Aditya Birla Group earlier, was amalgamated with the latter’s lifestyle retail business, with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail emerging as the new, combined entity.
In June, PVR Limited, India’s biggest multiplex chain, snapped up DLF’s multiplex subsidiary DT Cinemas for Rs 500 crore. Fresh from the acquisition, PVR’s physical footprint tally touched 115 multiplexes, 506 screens in 44 cities.
There were also cross-border buy-outs, in a manner. Some pure-play physical retailers, deciding to acquire ready intelligence instead to trying to reinvent the wheel themselves, bought up online models with complementary offers.
Mahindra Retail, acquired Babyoye.com in February, integrating its entire e-commerce business into Babyoye.com and later re-branding its offline retail network from Mom & Me to Babyoye by Mahindra. Likewise, Spencer’s Retail acquired online grocery firm Omnipresent Retail India (which operated Meragrocer.com), to accelerate its transition into the e-commerce space.