The World Retails Private Ltd, a modern retail chain in Odisha, is at the forefront of bringing modern and innovative retail practices in food and grocery in an otherwise predominantly traditional retail market of Odisha.
Starting off with one store in 2007, the company today operates eight stores in various parts of the state – with three stores in Bhubaneshwar, two stores in Berhampur and one store each in Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Angul.
The chain’s retail footprint covers 85,000 sq. ft., which brings in average monthly turnover of Rs. 5.7 crore. The stores are all rented and belong to the Value Superstore Format kind, with their sizes varying from 2,600 sq. ft. to 19,000 sq. ft. With growth coming at 10 per cent annually, World Retails is looking forward to a steady and reassuring business ride in the days ahead and has a target of reaching Rs. 100 crore by the end of FY2017-18.
Progressive Grocer spoke to COO, The World Retails Pvt. Ltd, Rajesh Patnaik, to know more about his chain’s operations in the areas of private label management, supply chain and logistics and customer focus.
What is the contribution of private labels to your overall sales and how do you see it growing?
Our private label share in the coming times would be 40 per cent of the sales mix, which will translate into approximately Rs. 2 crore of additional income, up from Rs. 4 crore now.
Our private label brands are ‘JAZZ’’ in the Fashion category and ‘Grihani Namkeens’ in FMCG. They offer about 35 per cent margin in both the Fashion and FMCG categories and their sales share is 15 per cent compared with national brands, which contribute around 40 per cent. The growth in our private lablel category has been eight per cent month on month. For promoting our private label brands, we rely on in-store promotion through branding, co-branding, window display, pillar visuals and also make use of external mediums like newspaper ads, hoardings, TVCs, SMS, and events. We have plans to introduce new products under our private label in the FMCG category for dairy, pickles, dry fruits and cleaning agents.
Which marketing and promotional activities do you prefer for pushing sales in your stores?
Our major BTL activities are by way of in-store promotions and our ATL activities are for mega promotions. For major events, we take the help of print & regional channels for our medium of marketing. We have our marketing event calendar fixed, which describes the details of the activities to be carried out for specific events. Then we have our own web page and FB page for social media connect.
Every event is posted in each media from time to time and there is regular updation. We make use of our messaging service to send regular updates to our loyal customers, as part of the promotional activities. We send wish messages to our customers on important occasions like marriage anniversary / birthdays, etc. Besides, we keep participating in major trade events, in CSR activities and camps to make our brand presence felt.
What is your strategy for merchandise display and category management?
The strategy for merchandise display is based on certain parameters. Fast moving, impulse and slow moving items are arranged in a specific sequence for the purpose of display. There are certain categories like general merchandise and apparel for which we have to create the need for customers based on their movement within the store and taking into account factors like convenience. For example, in a multi- floor store, we have FMCG on the third floor, apparel on the ground floor, and general merchandise on the second floor.
What are you doing to rope in more quality suppliers for different categories?
This is a continuous process, which we keep upgrading depending on the need of the hour. But we are very cautious in bringing new suppliers to our fold. Only after being satisfied with all the desired inputs, we go ahead with the process of bringing the new ones. As it is, there are lots of new products that come on the market. It is not possible on our part to include all of them. However, we are open to adding products keeping in view the sentiments and demands of customers.
How do you ensure that suppliers stick to quality standards and efficiency norms?
We have a central warehouse, which receives the entire stock. Stocks are then transferred to the respective stores based on their requirements. We have our own fleet of transport to avoid transit delays and also to achieve the economies of scale. The stocks are duly checked by our internal receiving team when they are brought in as per the required parameters, and then sent to the stores.
Any innovations in your supply chain model?
We have our own fleet of transport logistics wherein the vehicle and the staff are on our payroll. It helps us to reduce the supply gap from the vendors to our central warehousing and in dealing with the issue of non-availability of transport by the vendor. It has also helped us to reduce the damage and shrinkage during in transit. All the vehicles are mapped with GPS tracker to monitor the transit time, thereby maintaining delivery schedules.
What kind of initiatives and innovations have you been taking for a more streamlined store operations?
We have tied with various NGOs under the skill development programme to hire the entry level staff for our stores. For the rest, we have our own HR department. There is a continuous training programme, which is conducted regularly at the store level and monitored for better performance. Monthly meetings are part of the regular schedule at the stores to improve motivation within the team.
We have upgraded our working approach by using the latest technology, wherein all the stores are leased-line connected with controls at the corporate office. The inventory is monitored on a daily basis with MBQ and to assess for reorder quantities, which have been fixed for the stores to automatically take care of the ordering process. Daily PIs are part of the store’s team task for monitoring specific items and to minimise / eradicate stock variance. All the operational parameters are decided well in advance and monitored to achieve the desired goals.
How do you manage the customer feedback loop at your stores for improving the various facets of store operations and merchandising?
We have successfully implemented the process of exit interview for our customers. We deploy a senior staff to take the feedback and suggestions for the store. This has helped us to improve on our standards, thereby reducing the gap in the expectations of the customers. Also, since this happens on a continuous basis, it helps us to upgrade our systems and meet the genuine demands of our customers. Since we are a small organisation, the decision making process is faster, thereby enabling us to implement them at the store level on an immediate basis.
With e-commerce and m-commerce pulling ahead as more convenient and preferable mediums of shopping, are you doing anything special to beef up your presence on these channels?
We have already started the process of redesigning our website. Also, except for FMCG, the process has begun for online activities as a medium of sales. Since sales of FMCG online is yet to take off in this part of the country, we would like to give it a little more time. The people of Odisha have the time to shop and enjoy and we would like to take advantage of this scenario and offer better opportunities for in-shop shopping.
A fast-growing regional retailer
- The World Retails Private Ltd, a modern retail chain in Odisha, is at the forefront of bringing modern and innovative retail practices in food and grocery in an otherwise predominantly traditional retail market of Odisha.
- Starting off with one store in 2007, the company today operates eight stores in various parts of the state – with three stores in Bhubaneshwar, two stores in Berhampur and one store each in Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Angul.
- The chain’s retail footprint covers 85,000 sq. ft., which brings in average monthly turnover of Rs. 5.7 crore. The stores are all rented and belong to the Value Superstore Format kind, with their sizes varying from 2,600 sq. ft. to 19,000 sq. ft.
- With growth coming at 10 per cent annually, World Retails is looking forward to a steady and reassuring business ride in the days ahead and has a target of reaching Rs. 100 crore by the end of FY2017-18.