Rakesh Biyani, Joint Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Fu­ture Re­tail

VMRD - - Contents - Satarupa Chakraborty

In­dian re­tail con­glom­er­ate Fu­ture Group has been path break­ing in many ways – democratis­ing the de­part­men­tal store ex­pe­ri­ence, grow­ing at 21% CAGR over last 4 years (much faster than com­peti­tors in the same busi­ness), bring­ing right as­sort­ments across cat­e­gories and coin­ing large for­mat re­tail ex­pe­ri­ences in the world of shrink­ing store sizes... Rakesh Biyani, Joint Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Fu­ture Re­tail speaks to VM&RD on their pro­jected growth path.

Busi­ness-wise, your last 7-8 quar­ters have been im­pres­sive. Please share your ex­pan­sion strate­gies across food and non-food cat­e­gories.

Non-food cat­e­gory holds a much larger share of our busi­ness growth. How­ever, it has been and will al­ways be our moot ef­fort to strike a right bal­ance be­tween food and fash­ion. In terms of ex­pan­sion of both Big Bazaar and Cen­tral, we have done ex­tremely well. Now, the idea is to keep up the stan­dard. We plan to open about 2530 stores for both these en­ti­ties. Easy­day is an­other en­tity that we are work­ing hard on. With Easy­day, we will en­sure ex­pand­ing doors as well as boost­ing sales. Sev­eral ac­qui­si­tions kept us busy last year. How­ever, our fo­cus is back to ex­pan­sion again.

While other re­tail­ers are try­ing to cre­ate seam­less­ness across on­line and off­line, your fo­cus is mostly on off­line re­tail. Please throw some light.

Yes, our idea is to re­di­rect even the on­line

traf­fic to off­line. Lately, we have been back­ing up the plan with strong dig­i­tal me­dia pres­ence and run­ning on­line cam­paigns. How­ever, we are strength­en­ing our omni-chan­nel paths too. Re­cently, we have launched ser­vices like “or­der at store, get de­liv­ery at home” with Big Bazaar. While con­tin­u­ing with our ef­fort to en­hance our omni-chan­nel pres­ence, we are al­ways fo­cus­ing on greater foot­fall in stores, un­like many re­tail­ers.

Pri­vate la­bels these days are for­ti­fy­ing MBO busi­ness. Who are your fron­trun­ners in this seg­ment?

Lee Cooper de­serves spe­cial men­tion in this seg­ment. Look­ing at the suc­cess of this brands, which is pri­mar­ily a denim brand, we brought in footwear too re­cently un­der this brand name. We fore­see Lee Cooper to emerge as a large brand in next three years. Other pri­vate la­bels that are grow­ing rapidly are denim wear brands Buf­falo and Scullers, amongst oth­ers.

In the world of re­tail, where store sizes are shrink­ing per­pet­u­ally, Cen­tral, sized around lakhs of square feet, is break­ing all norms. How do you jus­tify the sale per square foot?

As one of the early ris­ers to de­part­men­tal re­tail boom, we strongly be­lieve in the cel­e­bra­tion of ser­vice. We vi­su­alised Cen­tral to am­plify the re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence along with height­ened cus­tomer en­gage­ment. And guess what, that’s re­flec­tive even in sales. With Big Bazaar too, we re­vamped the re­tail con­cept to Gen Next and we fur­ther re­vamped it in our Am­bi­ence, Vas­ant Kunj, Delhi out­let. The re­tail de­sign with good ser­vice and en­gage­ment is here to stay, and that’s what de­part­men­tal re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence is all about.l

Rakesh Biyani, Joint Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Fu­ture Re­tail

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