Retail major Spar Hypermarkets, operated in India by Max Hypermarkets, has plans to expand extensively over the next 8-10 months, across the nation. The chain which has two outlets in Chennai, and a total of 21 outlets pan-India is optimistic about growth in Tamil Nadu’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
The retail chain, headquartered in Bengaluru, has presence in Coimbatore, Mangaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi NCR and Shimoga. Rajeev Krishnan, Managing Director and CEO of Spar Hypermarkets tells us, “The big story for has been the past 12 months and going into the next 12. We have been growing in a very conservative and measured manner in India – with about 18 stores being set up over the past 10 years. And this year alone, we will be opening 10 stores across the nation, in line with what I had envisioned 2 years back that we will be jumping 50 per cent, if not more.”
As far as the revenue and volume goes, Chennai is the biggest market for the chain with its two outlets in Vadapalani and Anna Nagar. Krishnan explains, “The only hurdle we saw in Chennai was that there wasn’t adequate mall development. We haven’t been able to get the kind of properties we wanted. Our third outlet is opening on OMR in another 2 months. We are hoping to have as many as 4 stores in Chennai by the end of 2020, with the latest one in Velachery. With respect to Tier 2 cities in TN, we have two outlets in Coimbatore, while Tiruchy and Salem are the towns we are keen on for opening new stores.”
The Indian retail sector is staring at a whopping 1.25 bn population with the youngest people for the next two to three decades. And so, the company is paying close attention to the omnichannel model as there are great opportunities in the brick and click formats.
“As part of a pilot project, a year ago, we have roped in unorganised retailers – such as your neighbourhood vegetable or fruit vendors and brought them onboard to our system for a win-win deal. In Koramangala, Bengaluru, as many as 25 push cart vendors from the local sabzi mandi were provided with mini trucks so that they could sell Spar’s branded produce in far-to-reach interior neighbourhoods, where these vendors have access. The results were phenomenal and now our aim is to help nurture more vendors across India, and TN is a prospect for the same,” he says.
“We also have an e-commerce site, through which produce gets delivered either through the main site or these vendors. We are looking at a collaborative business model. We want to help kirana vendors also be part of our successful business. In the next two years, we will be doubling our revenues,” signs off Krishnan.