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October 1 - October 8, 2011News for the Retail industry - WEEKLY SUMMARY
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Mystery Shopping Audits and Customer Engagement

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  Week At a Glance 

News - Headlines, Apparel, Specialty..News - Food, QSR ..TrendsInsight
  News - Headlines, Apparel, Specialty .. 
A second innings of slowdown could spell doom for bigger retailers
Financial Express
Even as India's nascent retail sector struggles to emerge from the wrenching economic slowdown that hit the country in late 2008, signs of another meltdown that could spell doom have started emerging. This time, too, the first to get hit are the smaller chains. The chemical-to-textile GHCL, which bought the struggling UK-based retailer Rosebys in 2006 and brought the brand to India with plans to open hundreds of outlets, recently halted operations of the home furnishing business. Rosebys' closure followed that of Spinach supermarkets, owned by Mumbai-based Wadhawan Retail. Analysts maintain that a slowdown, this time, could impact not only the smaller firms, but also bigger retailers like Pantaloon Retail, Reliance Retail and the retail ventures of the Aditya Birla Group and Bharti Enterprises. However, retailers are "better prepared" for a slowdown this time, experts say. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Future Group firm, Pantaloon Retail India Ltd (PRIL) said that it plans to raise up to Rs. 1,500 crore by issuing equity-linked securities amounting to stake dilution of not more than 15 percent. In a filing to the BSE, PRIL said its Board of Directors, which met on Monday, approved the raising of additional long-term funds. The securities could be convertible instruments, convertible into shares, debt instruments with attached warrants giving right to the holder of such warrants to subscribe for Equity/Class B Shares, issue of Equity/Class B shares, it added. The issue of such securities would be for an amount not exceeding Rs. 1,500 crore, it said, adding the proposal is subject to shareholders approval. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Crisil assigns 'Average' grade to Joyalukkas IPO - Rapaport

Crisil Research has assigned an 'average' grading for the proposed initial public offering (IPO) of Joyalukkas India Ltd., a Kochi-based jewelry retailer. Crisil stated that the assigned grade reflects Joyalukkas' established position in jewelry retailing in the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, resulting from steady expansion in outlets from one to 23 in the span of decade. Due to its unique store format and strong brand, the company is well-positioned to tap the rise in demand for gold jewelry in India, particularly in the two southern markets, which together are expected to account for nearly 30 percent of incremental domestic demand, the researchers added. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Clarks' sixth outlet in Delhi - Franchiseindia.com

In keeping with its aggressive India plans, leading British footwear brand, Clarks recently launched its sixth stand alone store in Delhi/NCR, at DLF Place, Saket. The store is spread over an area of 3363 sq ft and has a wide array of footwear for men, women and children. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Adding to its kitty of five stores in India, Italian luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna, in a joint venture with Reliance Group, is planning to launch a second store in Mumbai. The new store will be located at Shangri-La hotel, while the earlier one will replace the Moschino outlet at the Taj Palace Hotel, by changing its current location at the shopping gallery of the hotel. This move comes after the launch of two stores in New Delhi and Hyderabad respectively. Meanwhile Tom Ford another luxury brand will occupy the place to be vacated by Zegna at the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

QVENDO, a private shopping portal that brings many apparel and accessories brands together in one online shop for its members, has launched its site in India. The exclusive 'members only' site, founded in 2010 by Oliver and Reema von Quadt, offers both current and previous seasons collections at discounts on European retail prices. QVENDO also offers designer wear from young boutique designers, besides making available products of well-known brands like Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Armani and True Religion. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Momentz, the designer silverware gifting solution brand of Delhi-based Shiv Group, has drawn up an ambitious plan of marking its presence in 500 leading jewellery and lifestyle stores in 50 cities across the country. At present, the brand has a flagship boutique at Delhi's Pacific mall and it plans to open two more company-owned outlets in south Delhi and Gurgaon. The brand also has over 150 channel partners in more than 40 Indian cities. Given its ongoing expansion plans, the company expects to double its sales revenue from Rs 20 crore to Rs 40 crore by the end of the current financial year, Veresh Kalra, MD, Momentz, said. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Reliance Digital launches private label, Reconnect
Reliance Digital, a multi-brand retail destination for a wide range of electronic gadgets and durables, has launched its own private label under the name Reconnect, at Reliance Digital stores in Ambi Mall, Gurgaon, Amanora Mall, Pune, and in malls in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Vashi. An exclusive Reconnect experience zone will be featured at the Reliance Digital stores for customers to see and test the products, in true-to-life settings. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Pepe Jeans London, which has emerged as a top lifestyle brand in India, has plans to venture into the booming kids' wear category in the near future. The brand also has an aggressive retail plan and is looking at increasing its flagship stores across India. Launched in India in 1989, Pepe is currently a leading player in the premium jeans and casual wear segment, enjoying a market share of more than 25 percent. The brand's merchandise is available through 210 exclusive stores across the country, 100 plus large format stores and around 1,000 multi-brand premium outlets. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Landmark Group, the retail and hospitality giant, said that its annual Middle East revenue was on track to exceed $5 billion by 2015, with expansion and diversification plans "going full steam ahead." The conglomerate, which has marked a milestone with more than 1,000 outlets encompassing 18 million square feet of retail space across its portfolios in the Middle East and India, believes that the main drivers of the projected growth would be markets in Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey. Vipen Sethi, Chief Executive of Landmark Group, said that over the past four decades, the group has developed a spate of in-house brands that have emerged to become market leaders. Centrepoint, Babyshop, Splash, Shoe Mart, Lifestyle, Beautybay, Iconic, Emax, Home Centre, Q Home Decor, Max and Shoexpress are some of the homegrown products under the group's umbrella. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

  News - Food, QSR .. 
Metro Cash & Carry eyes 5% global revenue from India - Business Standard

When Metro Cash & Carry decided to set shop in India in 2003, it had the early starter advantage to make inroads into the dynamic Indian retailing market. Almost eight years since, the Germany-based company is yet to secure a foothold, as competition from other international players stares in its face. Today, Metro has set a road map to realise around five percent of its global revenue from India sales by 2015, from the existing one percent of the total euro 67 billion turnover of the group. However, company officials refused to comment on its revenue projections. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Aditya Birla Retail has announced that it will focus on expanding its presence in the rural markets, according to its Vice President Sumit Chandna. Over 30% of the retailer's supermarkets are in smaller towns where disposable income is high, hence future expansion will be centred on these locations, he noted. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Bharti Retail on Friday launched a new format called Easyday Hyper, thus making its entry into the Western region, while Reliance Retail opened its first hypermarket under the RelianceMart brand in the city. While Easyday Hyper offers over 20,000 products that include 475 new items across categories such as jams and spreads, spices, flour, biscuits, namkeens, ethnic sweets, oils, ready to fry, chocolates, the RelianceMart offers over 20,000 products in fashion, apparel, consumer electronics, home ideas, leisure, beauty and style, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, grocery, telecom, gift items, entertainment, health and wellness products among others. RelianceMart will employ 200 people and its loyalty-based programme 'RelianceOne' that has over 6 million customers. The Mukesh Ambani firm now has 12 outlets under the RelianceMart brand. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

The western concept of grabbing a bite and a morning cuppa at the neighbourhood cafe/restaurant is making its presence felt in Bangalore. Popular cafe chains like Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) and Barista, quick service restaurant McDonald's and casual dining restaurant Au Bon Pain, now open shop between 7am and 8am offering the option of breakfast on-the-go. Interestingly, it's a complete meal at under Rs 70, on an average. From fruits to zero-gram trans-fat-free-bakery products, grilled kulchas, muesli, pancakes, hash-browns, waffles, eggs of your choice, American breakfast, English breakfast, and much more... the choice is wide. Even standalone neighbourhood cafes are opening shop early. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Jagran Prakashan Ltd (JPL), the publisher of Hindi daily Dainik Jagran and owner of the print business of Mid-Day Infomedia Ltd, is planning to open a chain of Mid-Day cafes, two people with direct knowledge of the development said. According to them, the group plans to launch cafes under the Mid-Day brand across India, starting with the metros. What form and shape the venture will take is yet to be determined, they said.This is not the first time that a media company has ventured into the close to $185 million coffee chain market in India. Channel V, the music channel of Star India Pvt. Ltd, launched its first [V] Spot cafe early this year. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Looking to expand its footprint in the domestic market, Asia's largest milk brand, Amul, on Thursday, said it will be opening ten quick service restraunts (QSRs) by the end of this fiscal year, across the country. "We are opening two Amul QSRs one each in Ahmedabad and Banagalore city today. The target is to open 10 such outlets by end of this fiscal year," Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) Managing Director, R S Sodhi said. All the new QSRs to be opened will be on the franchisee model, he added. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

McDonald's gets youthful
Hindustan Times
It was the "family place" to go to since quick service restaurant chain McDonald's entered India. Children were a very important part of its target audience, with a lot of its advertising and menu especially targeting them. But now McDonald's is firmly talking about youth being its primary target consumers. Its advertising, new outlet interior designs and additions to the menu are all firmly targeted at the youth, though the outlets still have that defined family section. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Dukkan Falafel set for global menu - The National

Dukkan Falafel set to enter India
The National
Dukkan Falafel opened its first restaurant only late last year. But the franchise, based in Dubai, already has plans to become the world's biggest falafel chain by 2015. Already in operation in 18 locations within Dubai, Dukkan Falafel aims to open more franchises in UAE, India and the US. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathway talks to Reliance Retail for India foray - Times of India

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway wants a big scoop of India's consumption story. Berkshire-owned Dairy Queen (DQ), an international soft-serve ice cream and frozen food retailer, is holding talks with Reliance Retail for a joint venture in India, said multiple sources directly aware of the matter. A potential deal could also see the Mukesh Ambani firm making a big move into the quick service restaurant business, as DQ operates close to 6,000 outlets worldwide, selling grilled products like burgers and hot dogs. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Clad in jeans and red tees, the mannequins looked like any others in store windows. But passers-by who watched them for a while were in for a shock. For these mannequins moved around, striking poses and greeted window shoppers."That was a window display I did for Levis a year ago," says visual merchandiser Aarthi Raghunathan, an NIFT graduate. While Levis came up with the concept, Aarthi customized it for the store. With more malls and stores opening in the city and a range of brands flooding the market, attracting shoppers has become an art. Professional visual merchandisers are being roped in to package and display products attractively, especially during this festive season. But visual merchandising is not just about window displays. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Bombay Dyeing, which has seen fortunes dwindle from its textiles division, expects realty to generate over half of its revenues this financial year and three quarters in five years. "We will essentially become a real estate firm in the years to come," Managing Director, Jeh Wadia said. Jeh took charge of Bombay Dyeing in a management reshuffle earlier this year. The transformation of the 132-year-old company into a property firm could mean a windfall for its shareholders. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Shoppers Stop gets BestPrax & Best Supply Chain Excellence Award - indiaretailing.com

Shoppers Stop, the department stores chain, has been honored with the BestPrax Prize for Green Initiatives, in the twenty-third Qimpro Convention conducted by KPMG; and the Best Supply Chain Excellence Award in retail in the 5th Express, Logistics and Supply Chain Conclave. The BestPrax Prize for Green Initiatives recognizes the efforts of Shoppers Stop to conserve the environment. Under its CSR policy, Shoppers Stop formulated an Energy Management Policy "Environment Project A" and deployed energy conservation systems, green initiatives and eco-friendly merchandise under the same. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Organized retail has fuelled new growth categories-like liquid hand wash, breakfast cereals and pet foods-in the consumer goods industry, accounting for almost 50% of their sales, said data from market search firm Nielsen. The Nielsen figures, showed that some of these new categories got more than 40% of their business from modern retail outlets. The data also suggests how products in these categories reach the neighborhood kirana stores after they have established themselves in modern trade. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

With FDI in retail being the talk of town, stores are opening up to every opportunity, lest even one be missed. Shoppers Stop is all geared up to launch at least another 10 outlets this fiscal and another eight in the next. Govind Shrikhande, managing director of the retail brand says that the department store's margins have improved and that the non-apparel segment has seen a price rise of 3% apart from volume growth of 6-7%. The company is on track to achieve targets of opening 24 stores in three years starting this fiscal. What is interesting is that in spite of inflation and rate hike and a shrinking size of small savings, same store revenue per square feet for Shoppers Stop has grown 7% in the first quarter. Excerpts from an interview: Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Shop for a living - Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email
Parul Shukla shops for a living... her shopping might actually improve your wardrobe. In possibly the first service of its kind offered in Mumbai, Shukla has tied up with a popular city mall to offer her expert styling advice and personal shopper skills for an hourly fee. According to Nirzar Jain, General Manager, Oberoi Mall, the idea was to help shoppers understand what looks best and upgrade their fashion quotient.The service was launched quietly two weeks ago. Surprisingly, it's been a hit among the male customers. The service costs about Rs 1000 an hour, which, Shukla insists, is a "healthy investment." Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Shreya Gambhir, a 20-year-old architecture student in Bangalore, entered Garuda mall to buy a watch, but walked out with a handbag worth Rs 1,975 from Accessorize. Shreya was among thousands of shoppers who braved rains, traffic jams and rising prices to flock to the high street and malls across metros and smaller cities, pushing sales of clothes and electronics goods, in the first weekend after shradh, by up to 50% more than last year. The consumer mood has reassured marketers who feared a slowdown in demand this season because of macro-economic concerns of rising prices and interest rates. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

If you are game for some risky bets, you can put your money in rental return models in the retail space. In what is called the strata sale model, shops in a mall are pre-sold to individual investors. The investor has the prerogative to hunt for a tenant and the developer restricts himself to selling a store like a residential unit. A majority of the stores in Ansal Plaza and DLF City Center in Delhi, and Centrestage Mall in Noida are strata-sold. But it has problems. "The model has little control on the trade and tenant mix of the property as the mall developer's prerogative gets limited to commodity type selling of commercial real estate," says Vivek Nair, who heads the retail global solutions at Vestian Global Workplace Services. The success of a mall depends a great deal on the mix of tenants and how they are laid out. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Savitha, who owns a Louis Vuitton bag from every spring-summer, fall-winter collection, thinks it's time her boxer pup basks in luxury as well. She plans on getting her a collar and leash from Louis Vuitton. Well, the day has arrived where pets, too, get the right to make a style statement. The pet accessories market in India has just woken up to smell the coffee. With the sudden spurt in the number of pet spas, day-cares and food product offerings in the past couple of years, it was only time before haute couture took centre stage. Owners of pets are going in for branded collars and leashes. Italian luxury fashion brand Bottega Veneta's fall-winter collection, which has just come into stores across India, includes leashes for dogs. Then there are designer dog coats from Ritu Beri, designer tote bags, and custom-made beds. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Retail king Kishore Biyani wants to be repositioned as a serial entrepreneur - Moneycontrol.com

Kishore Biyani, Group CEO of Future Group, believes that from an investment point of view, business is all about scaling up and becoming profitable within a given time frame. According to Biyani, there has to be balance while chasing margins or volumes. "You cannot look at business only in one axis; it has to be in both axis. In the beginning it is brands and volumes which need to be built and then it is profitability which you drive." Biyani who has redefined Indian retail and is known as Retail King of India for the last two decades now wants to be repositioned as a serial entrepreneur. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

The Customer Experience Deficit: Opportunities for Growth in the Retail Industry


The way we shop has changed. Customers want to move between channels - from store to website to app - as they browse, decide, buy, receive and resolve any issue with their purchase. This presents a challenge: how can retailers provide a compelling integrated customer experience that grows market share? Head created a qualitative assessment, the Integrated Customer Experience Scale (ICES) to review how well digital and offline touchpoints are weaved together to create an integrated customer experience.  The findings indicate that there is a correlation between a strong integrated customer experience and sales growth. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Indian Retail Market: Embracing A New Trajectory
The Indian retail market currently stands at USD 396 billion and is likely to grow further at 12%, to increase to USD 574 billion by 2015. This sector is the second largest employer after agriculture, employing more than 35 million people with wholesale trade generating an additional employment to 5.50 million more. The growing disposable income in the country is resulting in increasing consumer spending habits. The total retail spending is estimated to double in the next five years. Of this, organized retail - currently growing at a CAGR of 22% - is estimated to be 21% of total retail expenditure. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

The Quiet Revolution in the Indian Food Supply Chains

This paper focuses on the structural transformation of food supply chains from rural to urban areas in India. The authors focus on the transformation in the supply stream, downstream (in the retail segment of the supply chain) and midstream (in the food processing and wholesale/logistics segments of the supply chain), as the changing market context that will condition and influence the path of agriculture and food security in the coming decades.

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Driving Retail Loyalty through Real-Time Customer Interactions at the Points of Truth

ITC Infotech

It seems so far ago that retailers knew their loyal neighborhood customers 1:1, engaged them in conversations that held personalized meaning, and were able to enrich shopping experiences by providing information and offers that were relevant and valuable to their loyal customers, while they were in the store, shopping. From those early days of personalized shopping, the two-sided coin of business and technological advancements have spun and told its tale. This paper focuses on taking a critical look at the overall paradigm of loyalty with a dual ambition; first, to separate out transactional and strategic aspects of loyalty, so that the real "transformational" value can be focused on; second, to propose an interesting, easy-to-implement technology enablement idea that could unlock this value for the retailer, and for the loyal customer as well. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email
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