Bata to stop opening 100 stores a year, to concentrate on same-store growth

Aug 4, 2016 0

Kolkata– Bata India has changed its strategy of opening over 100 stores a year and would start concentrating on same-store growth, a top company official said on Thursday.

The shoe-maker also plans to set up online kiosks in some major retail stores across the country and will be looking at opening franchise-based stores, mainly in tier-3 and tier-4 cities. The company will invest Rs 80-100 crore a year for modernisation, renovation of its manufacturing facilities and to strengthen its retail operations.

Uday Khanna (File Photo)

Uday Khanna (File Photo)

“The company has changed its strategy of opening 100-plus stores every year and is now concentrating more on achieving same-store growth,” said company Chairman Uday Khanna.

The shoe-maker added 26 new retail stores during the last financial year, he told shareholders at the company’s 83rd annual general meeting here.

“We used to open 100 stores a year and, going forward, we will be opening 50-60 stores in a year. We are looking at opening franchise-based stores. We have already opened 30 stores in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat as a pilot project,” said company Managing Director and President (South Asia) Rajeev Gopalakrishnan.

“Our intention is to have 200-300 franchise-based stores in tier-3 and tier-4 cities and rural areas in the next couple of years,” he said.

Khanna also said the company is planning to set up online kiosks in some of the major retail stores across the country wherein customers shall have the option to buy footwear of their choice online.

The company continues to penetrate into tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India and other rural markets. “We will have to develop a separate kind of product line to cater to these markets,” said Gopalakrishnan.

“Manufacturing is our focus. We will invest Rs 20-25 crore in the next one-and-half to two years time for modernisation of Batanagar factory in West Bengal,” he said.

In addition to its modernisation programme, the company will invest another Rs 50 crore for retail operation. “Put together, a total of Rs 80-100 crore will be invested in a year,” he said.

In 2015-16, online sales reached Rs 40 crore. Online sales contribute 1.5 per cent of the total sales and the company has the target to scale up the share to 5 per cent in the near future. “Going forward, we will have 90 per cent exclusive collection for online platform,” he added.

The company reported standalone net profit of Rs 50.49 crore for the first quarter that ended on June 30 as compared to Rs 50.18 crore in the same period last year.

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Government to help open 3,000 Jan Aushadhi Stores across India

Aug 2, 2016 0

New Delhi–Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana (PMJAY), the central government will open 3,000 Jan Aushadhi Stores (JAS) pan India by the end of this fiscal to make quality drugs available at affordable prices, parliament was told on Tuesday.

“In order to open JAS proposed within government hospital premises, a one-time financial assistance is provided to the extent of Rs 2.50 lakh and the margin available for the retailers is 20 per cent so as to ensure a reasonable level of profitability for them,” Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh L. Mandaviya told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

In addition to the retailers’ margin up to 20 per cent, an 15 percent incentive on monthly sales subject to a ceiling of Rs 10,000 a month is also given for stores opened outside the government hospitals, he said.

For stores opened in northeastern states and Maoist-affected and tribal areas, the rate of incentive is 15 percent of monthly sales subject to a ceiling of Rs. 15,000 per month.

State governments, local bodies, individuals entrepreneurs, pharmacists, doctors, registered medical practitioners, NGOs, trusts, social and charitable institutions, private hospitals and self help groups or those with B.Pharma degree or D.Pharma diploma are eligible for opening of the stores.

Applicant should have own or hired space of minimum 120 square feet.

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US grill brand opens Grill Academy in India

Jul 27, 2016 0

New Delhi– US-based grill brand Weber-Stephen has forayed into north India with the launch of its first flagship store here and its first Grill Academy in the country.

Weber India, a subsidiary of Weber Stephen Products LLC, expanded its footprint with the opening of its flagship store on MG Road here on Wednesday and an exclusive experiential zone Grill Academy in the same premises, read a statement.

The manufacturing major has introduced its extensive range of grilling products for B2B and B2C customers, including the signature charcoal grills and gas grills along with grilling accessories.

At the launch event, two chefs demonstrated scrumptious fusion of local gourmet with a twist of American grilling culture, and showcased Weber’s unique method of cooking – “covered grilling”.

Manish Khandelwal, Managing Director, Weber-Stephen Barbecue Products India Private Limited, said: “Expansion to north India is a logical step as it has favourable climatic conditions and preference for grilled food.”

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Online marketplace Snapdeal joins hand with BookMyShow

Jul 21, 2016 0

New Delhi–Online marketplace Snapdeal on Thursday announced its partnership with e-ticketing platform BookMyShow and extended its service offerings.

With this partnership, customers can now book tickets for movies on Snapdeal.

“Snapdeal’s integration with a leading service provider like BookMyShow is another step in this direction. We are confident that the introduction of services on Snapdeal will bring us closer to our goal of 20 million daily transacting users by 2020,” said Tony Navin, senior vice president, Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, Snapdeal, in a statement.

Marzdi Kalianiwala, BookMyShow’s vice president – Marketing and Business Intelligence, said that the association with Snapdeal will allow its users to meet their movie ticketing needs without having to leave the platform.

BookMyShow’s e-ticket booking service can be accessed through Snapdeal’s app as well. (IANS)

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Bengal to launch home delivery of farm fresh produce

Jul 18, 2016 0

Kolkata–Farm fresh organic produce at your doorstep is just a call away thanks to a chain of stores and home delivery services which will be launched by the West Bengal government in this eastern metropolis on Tuesday.

Christened ‘Sufal Bangla’, the initiative is aimed to benefit farmers through extension services and providing an interface between producers and consumers which would benefit both.

“There are no middlemen so consumers will get the produce at cheaper prices. One can check the website and order according to the daily price list,” said an official of the state agricultural marketing department.

On Tuesday, ‘Sufal Bangla’ store in south Kolkata’s New Alipore will launch operations with a list of seasonal fruits and vegetables, livestock as well as rare varieties of rice — like brown rice, Dudhsar and Banskathi alongside popular options like Basmati and Gobindabhog.

The agricultural marketing department aims to open more such counters city-wide.

“Home delivery is free for orders of Rs. 500 and above and within 1 km,” said a store official.

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India paves way for shops, restaurants, cinemas to stay open 24/7

Jun 29, 2016 0

New Delhi– Emphasising on the adage that the consumer is king, people will soon be able to shop, eat and watch movies at their convenience even at the most odd hours of the day as shops, restaurants and cinemas will be permitted to remain open 24X7.

The Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Bill, 2016, to give such establishments the flexibility to operate round the clock was approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Wednesday.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

“The motive of the bill was to increase employment opportunities in the country,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters at a press briefing here on Wednesday.

“As malls work all seven days late at night, the small shops which have more than 10 workers will be given the flexibility to decide the timings and the days of work. The interest of the workers in terms of mandatory weekly holiday, number of working hours per day, of course, have to be protected,” Jaitley said.

The model bill allows women to work at odd hours putting an end to discrimination in the matters of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions.

“Women will be allowed to work at night also. So, the employment opportunities for women will increase. But there will be lot of conditions for shelter, ladies toilet, adequate protection and transportation to be provided to them,” the Finance Minister said.

“The bill will now be sent to states and union territories to enable them to modify their individual Acts, if they so desire either by adopting the said bill as it is or after modifying its provisions as per their requirements,” the statement said.

The model bill would bring about uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for all the states to adopt it and thereby ensuring uniform working conditions across the country and facilitate the ease of doing business and generate employment opportunities, it said.

However, the model bill will not cover manufacturing units.

“The bill provides for exemption of highly skilled workers (for example workers employed in IT, biotechnology and research and development division) from daily working hours of 9 hours and weekly working hours of 48 hours subject to maximum 125 over-time hours in a quarter,” it said.

“This bill was finalised after detailed deliberations and discussions with public through internet and with employees and labour representatives, employers’ associations and federations and state governments through tripartite consultative process,” the statement said.

Welcoming the model bill, the industry players said the measure will add thousands of jobs in the sector.

“It is a very progressive move, as it would enable states to choose to keep shops and other such establishments open 24/7 all through the year. This would give substantial boost to employment generation and will also benefit the consumers in terms of more convenience and accessibility,” said A. Didar Singh, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

“This is a progressive decision that will benefit the service providers as well as the users,” Ajay Kaul, CEO of Jubilant FoodWorks, said.

“For us, the new act opens up greater avenues for reinventing our service offering for customers and catalyse growth,” Kaul said.

“With flexibility available to retailers to open their establishment 24/7, not only thousands of additional skill jobs will be added, but it will also make the retail markets vibrant, giving customers flexibility and convenience to shop anytime,” Krish Iyer, President and CEO of Walmart India, said.

“This will also enable level playing for brands across online as well as offline retail platforms,” Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific India, said.

“At Pacific Mall currently shops that close by 9 p.m. can now remain open till about 11 p.m. which will be good for customers who only get a chance to shop after they return home from work or people working late shifts,” Bansal said.

“This is extremely wonderful news and a victory for the NRAI ((National Restaurant Association of India). We have been lobbying hard for the past many years for the freedom of operational timings in restaurants,” Riyaaz Amlani, President of NRAI, said.

“This will translate into growth across sectors such as e-commerce, organised retail, and the overall services industry, including the daily management of these establishments,” Anshuman Magazine, CMD, real estate developer CBRE South Asia, said. (IANS)

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Massimo Dutti debuts in India with first store in New Delhi

May 13, 2016 0

New Delhi–Spanish premium fashion brand Massimo Dutti has made its debut in India with the launch of its first store here.

Massimo Dutti, which was created in 1985 in Spain, opened its newest global concept store at Select Citywalk here. The store was launched on Thursday, a statement said.

The concept of the new store, which houses womenswear, menswear, footwear and accessories, is based on a progressive evolution of the original boutique style.

The change is based primarily on finishes and shapes that aim for warmer, more contemporary spaces and environments.

The opening marked the foray of the Spanish premium brand into the Indian market at the behest of Inditex, the Spanish retail group which owns the brand. Globally, the brand has 755 stores across 73 countries.

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Pan-India e-auction for tea inaugurated

May 10, 2016 0

Kolkata– A pan-India electronic auction system of tea which is expected to increase wider participation of buyers and sellers in the process and to ensure fair price discovery was inaugurated here on Tuesday.

“This effort of pan-India electronic tea auction is quite consistent with the kind of electronic enablement that we are doing across all our institutions. This is going to be a great improvement,” said Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia after inaugurating the system.

“With this effort, the auction is expected to be easier and more transparent. It will ensure greater participation of buyers and sellers so that there is a much better realisation of returns in a simplified format,” she said.

The system which is designed and developed by the Tea Board with consultation with all the stakeholders will enable buyers registered with a single auction centre to participate in the auction process of other centres as well.

Till now, the existing electronic auction process was region- and centre-specific, with restrictive participation of buyers as only those registered at a centre couldd only participate in the auction process of that centre.

There are seven auction centres in India – Kolkata, Guwahati, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Kochi, Coonoor and Coimbatore where auctions are being conducted through electronic platform provided by Tea Board.

Manual auction tea in India started in 1861 and the region and centre specific electronic auctions commenced in 2009.

About 534 million kgs of tea are sold through e-auction system.

Pan India e-auction process is expected to kick-start in the third week of June this year.

“Introduction of a settlement banking system and routing of entire post auction payments through the auction system via the settlement bank is one of the important features of the pan India e-auction process,” a statement said.

This system will ensure transparency in the process and timely settlement of dues since the bank will act as a settlement agent between all the stakeholders -buyers, brokers, sellers and warehouses, it said.

Tea Board chairman Santosh kumar Sarangi said: “There are certain hesitations relating to settlement mechanism, VAT payment system which will be made by outside buyers. But this is a ongoing process. The board along NSE.IT remains committed to resolving the issues.”

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Amazon’s B2B platform ties up with Patanjali in Karnataka

Apr 19, 2016 0

Bengaluru–Amazonbusiness.in, the business-to-business (B2B) platform of e-commerce giant Amazon, on Tuesday announced it has partnered with yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali group to become the wholesaler of its products in Bengaluru and Mangurlu.

“We expect this partnership to benefit retailers in Bengaluru and Mangaluru tremendously. This partnership will immensely benefit Patanjali by helping them reach out to a larger set of retailers,” Amazonbusiness.in general manager Kaveesh Chawla said in a statement.

Launched less than a year ago, Amazonbusiness.in serves as wholesaler of several products ranging from stationery, housekeeping supplies, kitchen, health, F&B and others to retailers. (IANS)

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Modi launches e-market for farm produce

Apr 14, 2016 0

New Delhi–Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched an e-trading platform for agricultural products, terming it a “turning point” to ensure transparency in buying and selling of farmers’ produce across the country

The Internet-based e-NAM (National Agriculture Market) is aimed at integrating ‘mandis’ to help both farmers and buyers by providing them data of produce available, its quality and the price being offered at the bidding markets.

Indian Prime Minister Mody

Indian Prime Minister Mody

“This is a turning point for the agriculture community. The agriculture sector has to be looked at holistically, and it is only then that maximum benefit of the farmer can be ensured,” said Modi, addressing a gathering of farmers at Vigyan Bhawan here on the occasion.

He said that the e-trading platform will help farmers and buyers access a huge market and help them to decide for themselves by providing choices.

“It’s (e-NAM) a very big possibility. This is for the time that the farmers will be able to decide where, when and on what price they want to sell their produce,” Modi said amid cheers from the audience.

Initially 21 mandis from eight states have been linked to the NAM and as he pressed a button, all 21 logged in to the portal.

The government plans to link 200 mandis to the portal within five months and 585 by March 2018.

Modi also emphasised that farmers’ income can be doubled only by applying scientific methods.

Giving example of a child, who would not be benefited if bathed in a bucket of milk but would grow faster if fed in small quantities by a spoon, he said that that flood irrigation was a “thing of past” and new techniques of drip irrigation were to be adopted in the 21st century.

He also urged farmers to get their soil tested and then farm accordingly.

Speaking on the occasion, union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that the government was working hard for the welfare of the farmers and launch of eNAM is a step in this direction.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was a “day of change” that will empower farmers.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mohan Bhai Kundaria and Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha and Agriculture Secretary Shobhana Patnaik were also present on the occasion.

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