Monday, April 27, 2009

Future Group launches Canadian beauty brand Faces in India

Kishore Biyani-led Future Group has launched Canadian wellness brand Faces Cosmetics in India. Initially, Faces products are launched at Pantaloon’s Ghatkopar in Mumbai and The Great India Place mall at Noida in Delhi-NCR region. Further, the company plans to roll out the product across Future Group retail formats, according to a company press release. 

Speaking on the launch, Smita Gautam, beauty head — Faces said, “I am very excited about the new product we have launched, and the immediate customer interest has been very encouraging. Through ongoing research and development we will continue to develop innovative products to suit the Indian beauty market.” 

Faces Cosmetics is majority owned by Indivision India Partners, a private equity fund that has a strategic relationship with Future Group in India. Indivision has partnered with Pantaloon Retail, the flagship retail company of Future Group, to strategically promote the Faces brand in the Indian market. 

Faces offer a comprehensive range of product categories for men and women of all ages, with over 1000 SKUs to suit every skin type, colour and look. Currently, the brand is available in over 60 standalone stores in Canada, th US, Central America and Europe, added the release. 

Adidas plans to open 200 stores by 2009-end

The sports footwear and apparel major, Adidas India Marketing Pvt Ltd has planned to open 200 outlets by the end of calendar year 2009. Speaking in an exclusive interview, Andreas Gellner, MD, Adidas India stated, “We are planning to open 200 stores by December 2009. It looks pretty much like our plans would become reality.”

Gellner further stated that the new stores would be present in a mix of higher tier as well as lower tier cities such as tier III and tier IV towns. “Our growth is happening through more intensive penetration of metros like Delhi, but it is also coming from smaller environments like tier III and tier IV cities,” Gellner remarked.

Gellner informed that Adidas at present has over 450 stores, out of which around 130 outlets are present in smaller towns.

Commenting on the recent media reports about Adidas closing down a number of its stores, Gellner stated, “For every retailer, to review store portfolios and closing down one or the other store is an ongoing and normal routine.”

“But obviously, in the current environment when the consumer demand is not very strong and the rentals have been unhealthily inflated in the last two years, there is probably even a bigger sense of reviewing the store portfolio and making decisions to close stores which don’t have the outlook to become profitable in the near future. So that’s what we are doing on an ongoing basis. We have been closing a few outlets. But the net addition would be 200 stores this year. I don’t think there is anything abnormal in this practice and every retailer should do this.”

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grand Galleria opens at High Street Phoenix, Mumbai

Mumbai’s premier shopping destination High Street Phoenix has added a new shopping centre in its vicinity. Branded Grand Galleria, the centre spreads over 60,000 square feet in two floors and houses a variety of fashion apparel and accessories, home d├ęcor and furnishings, bath and body, leisure, travel and outdoor merchandise. Further, the company plans to launch two of its upcoming projects in Mumbai and Lucknow soon, informed a top company official.

Speaking to IndiaRetailing, Vinay Menon, centre director, High Street Phoenix, said, “High Street Phoenix has already established itself as one of the best retail destinations in south Mumbai. With Grand Galleria, we look forward to ensure that both retailers and shoppers have the most satisfying and sterling retail experience ever.” 

“Grand Galleria has 32 stores in addition to a seven-screen PVR multiplex. The opening of PVR Cinemas and Croma store has added value to it and the footfalls have been increasing tremendously beyond our expectations,” added Menon. 

Speaking about the upcoming projects, Menon further disclosed, “We have planned to roll out Mumbai's first luxury destination — Palladium by the end of May this year. Further, Phoenix United, which is being developed in Lucknow, is scheduled to be opened in September this year." 

"Besides housing a blend of both national and local brands, Phoenix United will also have Lucknow’s first six-screen multiplex and a night club,” he added. 

The stores in Grand Galleria include Basecamp Traveller, Be:Home, Biba, Bose, BHS, Costa Coffee, Croma, Krystal Mirage, EcoScapes, Episode, Esbeda, Fab India, GNC, H&A (Home and Apparel), Identiti, Jashn, Jas Jewellery, Lancome, Lush, Monarch, Nachtmann, Neckties & More, Om Ved, Patchouli, Penny Lane, Redmond, Sia, Storm, Subway, Tesoro and William Penn. 

High Street Phoenix is spread across three zones — Skyzone, Courtyard and MainStreet Boulevard. While the leading national and international retail outlets feature in Skyzone, Courtyard represents various eating joints, The Bowling Co and Big Bazaar outlet. MainStreet Boulevard houses formal and casual clothes, premium accessories and jewellery brands. 

Small city, big battle

Big Bazaar sales remain unaffected amid slowdown. Reebok too observes zooming revenue figures. High profile Westside is all set to mark its presence. Metro-centric entertainment chain PVR is ready to compete with Inox. With just one operational mall to be followed by four more soon, this sugar bowl of India is claimed as one of the most promising retail destinations. 

Spread over an area of 108.66 square kilometre accommodating about 758,181 people (ICMR Estimation, 2008, based on NRS Data, 2006) with a population density of 6,166 persons per square kilometer (Census, 2001), the capital city of newly formed state Chhattisgarh, is Raipur. Raipur is proving its critics wrong who categorised it among the laggard cities. With the city’s primary commercial occupation being agriculture and mining, this rice bowl of India is capable of fulfilling high promises for the staggering growth of the retail industry.

Raipur is the hub of activity with an existing mall City Mall 36 . The mall by City Mall Developers spreads across an area of 50,000 square feet. Talking about the success of City Mall 36, Sanjay Gupta, managing director, City Mall Developers, says, “To facilitate the success of the project we focus on varied tenant mix i.e. we look forward to maintain a good tenant mix to ensure maximum spend by consumers and leave no other option for the visitor to feel deprived of their needs and go some place else. We also have good parking facility for 600 cars in open area, 200 cars in basement and parking for 1000 two wheelers. Apart from that, we are fortunate enough to get the Raipur City Bus facility service with a proper bus stop in front of the mall entrance providing economical conveyance to the general public.”

Retail Experience

The only mall currently operational in Raipur currently is City Mall 36 which has vertical length up to the fourth floor. Some of the brands present in the mall include Big Bazaar, Reebok, Biba Apparels, Globus, Color Plus, Adidas, Provogue, Levis, John Player, INOX multiplex, Moti Mahal and Music World. While talking to the heads of few of these brands, IndiaRetailing discovered that the brands are faring well above their expectations. 

Rajan Malhotra, president, retail strategy, Future Group says, “Our store is reasonably doing well in Raipur. But we prefer to be more in the centre of the city rather than in the suburbs. No regret, the store is doing reasonably well.” 

“We have now 110 Big Bazaar stores and we are doing well in all the locations. The maximum consumption is happening in tier I and II cities only. In tier III cities, consumption rate is still low. Having said that I must also say that the slowdown impact is very less in tier III cities and thus the stores are performing at constant levels,” he added.

“We have started Big Bazaar chain with three stores in different towns that include Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata (the then Calcutta). We had experimented with three different properties. The first one in Hyderabad was an old market property, which had gone down over a period of time; the Kolkata was an out of town property, it was a highway model and we wanted to check whether the model/concept works. The third one was in Bengaluru and at that point in time it was a new catchment where there was no market at all. We wanted to check whether we can open in a place where there is no market and develop a market out of that. We had three different strategies and we found that over a period of time (7-8 years), the dynamics of all these locations have changed and our market grew out of no where.”

“Basically we look for three core things: where it is, the catchment potential and the size before opening our stores in any particular locality. We look at city wise trends as well,” he added.

On the plans of expansion in Raipur, Malhotra commented, “We won’t open a store in any of the three malls being developed in the adjoining areas of Raipur. We have one market city property coming up in the heart of the town and we will open our store there. "

Sanjay Bindra, director, Biba Apparels says, “In terms of performance, the sales figures in Raipur are very decent.”

On the same lines, Subhinder Singh, managing director, Reebok India, talks broadly on the strengths of tier II and III cities. “Overall our experience is good in small cities. In smaller towns customers are pretty prone to trying out new products. They aspire to get a better lifestyle. It’s a great opportunity to cater their demands.” 

“In tier I, normally we have very big stores and the number of stores is also large. In Delhi itself, we have over 100 stores but in Raipur, we have only one store. In terms of the number of stores it is higher in tier I, but in terms of the performance of stores, even in tier II it is very good,” he added.

About the expansion, Singh disclosed, “We are definitely planning for expansions in small cities, but about Raipur, I am not sure whether we have any store in the pipeline or not for the city.”

Upcoming Malls

Raipur is all set to witness the advent of three other malls soon. While Magnetto mall will start operations this June, City Centre cum Multiplex (RDA Mall) is under construction. Treasure Island is another mall that has also been announced and will be built on the Eastern fringe of the city along GE Road. 

Anand Singhania, managing director, Avinash Developers, which is developing the Magnetto Mall in the city, says, “State capital city Raipur is truly loaded with myriad opportunities as it is in nascent stage of development of real estate and retail. The city embodies a tremendous economic potential with an imaginary annual growth of 20 per cent and the city is fully taking shape as one of the most prominent industrial and commercial hub of central India. It is also showcasing mammoth number of steel rolling mills, sponge iron plants, steel plants and other agro industries. The capital city enjoys surplus electricity, drinking water and paramount connectivity with all metros and big cities with road, rail and air.” 

Transport

Raipur being the capital of Chhattisgarh state has a four lane road to the nearby city Bhilai, which is planned to further extend to Durg city. The Chhattisgarh government also plans to develop another four lane road till Bilaspur city. As far as location of City Mall 36 is concerned the main road of Raipur City coming towards the mall has been widened and reconstructed under the project named as Gaurav Path, which is going to provide good transport. Further, Raipur municipal corporation is also planning to put on the roads the highly mordernised air-conditioned city bus.

Raipur city is situated on the Mumbai-Howrah route of Indian Railways and is well connected with such important places as Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Amritsar, Chennai, Bengaluru and more. Air links to the city connects it with Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Nagpur with aviation players including Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. 

Electricity

The fledgling state of Chhattisgarh is fast emerging as the `power house' of the country with energy starved states rushing to its coal pitheads to set up thermal power stations. NTPC already has a 2,100 MW power plant in the Korba region. In the Sipat region, NTPC will have power generation of 1,980 MW in the first phase, while the second phase will witness 1,000 MW. 

A special high- tension line is being laid between Raipur and Rourkela, in the Eastern grid. With its 'Power Hub' strategy, the state will remain power surplus for all times to come. Hence it would be the preferred destination for all power intensive industries. Jindal Steel and Power Limited too has announced an investment of Rs 160 billion for 1,000 MW power generation from its units that are under construction at Tamnar near Raigarh.

Consumers

The total population of the city according to the SEC classification, as per NRS data, is reported to be 731,429. The percentage distributions of household belonging to various SEC categories in the city are: SEC A1: 9.9 per cent, SEC A2: 9.7 per cent, SEC B1: 13.2 per cent and SEC B2: 8.7 per cent.

The population distribution of SEC A and B has been estimated on the basis of NRS data and this has been estimated by taking into account the proportionate distribution of SEC A and B population in the city.

Structures of consumers comprise of local, adjoining urban and village people along with the inter-state consumers like Orissa, east Maharashtra, east Madhya Pradesh, north Andhra Pradesh and south Bihar as Raipur is the nucleus of trade and commerce of above localities and regions since last six decades. According to our estimation, 73 per cent of the customers fall under the business class, while service class and others contributes 17 per cent and 10 per cent respectively,” estimates Singhania.

The existence of a mall in the city has already influenced the consumers' buying behaviour. The survey undertaken by ICMR in Raipur reveals that the people of the city staying in the trade area are generally aware of the malls, both existing and upcoming, along with the shopping complexes and high street shops. The survey reveals that about 81 per cent of the respondent visit malls, shopping complexes and high street shops at least once in a month and this trend was found uniform in all the age groups and SEC covered. About 97 per cent visit malls for shopping other than grocery shopping. The people visit mall generally with the family and spend at least 1-3 hours.

According to Sanjay Gupta whom we have already introduced as the managing director of City Developers, City Mall 36 currently enjoys a footfall of 10,000 during the weekdays and 45,000 footfalls during weekends. 

Security

Raipur is proving its critics wrong who categorise it among the laggard cities. Like metros, the last movie show at INOX in the City Mall 36 ends at 1.30 pm and it runs to full houses consisting of families and couples.

Naya Raipur

Naya Raipur is the upcoming capital of Chhattisgarh being built near Raipur Airport. The new city is about 20 kilometres from Raipur between two national highways -- NH 6 and NH 43, and the new city and the old one are separated by the airport. Naya Raipur covers an area of about 8000 hectares. The urban design of the new city will incorporate the best of international cities as well as traditional Chhattisgarh culture. The design is the grid pattern city plan. One of the major influences of the design was Kuala Lumpur's new capital complex at Putrajaya.

“New capital – Naya Raipur will be a unique and ultramodern city having international grade facilities and infrastructure in all spheres which will make the city ahead of others. All these ingredients will boost the scope of retail of all formats like apparel, entertainment, food, shopping and amusement which will be offbeat and record making in the retail sector,” says Singhania.

Kaya Skin Care to expand; signs Riddhima K Sahni as brand ambassador

In an expansion mode, Kaya Skin Care Ltd, one of India’s leading chains of skin care clinics, is all set to open 15 new clinics by the end of this year. Among these, seven will be just in the next two months. The wellness retailer is planning to open two clinics in Delhi and again two in Mumbai; one each is Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru. The estimated sizes of the new clinics would be 1000 – 1500 square feet of area. 

The new clinics would be opened in Pusa Road and Faridabad in Delhi – NCR region, Powai and Sion in Mumbai, Fatima Nagar in Pune, Vittal Malya Road in Bengaluru and Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad.

Rakesh Pandey, CEO, Kaya Skin Care Ltd, said, “As per our expansion plan we are focusing in almost all the key locations of the major cities across the country and that would include both the high streets as well as the malls, including the luxury malls.”

Kaya skin care clinics are currently present in Atria Mall in Mumbai and Ispahani Centre in Chennai. In HyperCity in Mumbai and Pacific Mall in Delhi, the wellness chain is present in Kiosk Format. 

Kaya has just launched a service called ‘Designer Skin’ to address the specific skin care needs of the season along with a wide range of products armed with the concept of ‘Beauty Through Technology’. The first reel of the service would be focused on skin care and solution specifically for summer. “This is a special kind of service and for that we have signed Riddhima Kapoor Sahni as our brand ambassador, we will keep rolling this with brand new concept to meet the best of our customers,” added Pandey.

Kaya generated a turnover of about Rs 100.84 crore during the financial year 2007-08 and is present across 23 cities with 74 clinics in the country and also 11 clinics in the Middle East as a part of their venture in international operation. 

Woodland to focus on clothing segment

The Aero Group of companies is planning to expand the product portfolio of their Woodland brand, known for shoes, and will now focus on its apparel segment.

The company plans to open large format stores of 4,000 square feet, keeping in mind that apparel would need bigger space for display. It would add 55 more outlets by the end of April 2010 and plans to invest around Rs 100 crore for expansion this year.

In the clothing segment, Woodland caters both men and women. This year, it plans to sell kidswear, too. Recently, the brand introduced its denim range under the same brand name. So far, Woodland sells its shoes in multi-brand outlets. The company now plans to retail its casual wear in multi-brand outlets as well. At present, apparel constitutes 35 per cent of the overall sales of Woodland. 

The company wants to take this share up to 50 per cent. “We want to be rational in our plans, given the market situation. There is great demand in the apparel segment. We have bought new machinery for the purpose,” said Harkirat Singh, managing director, Aero Group. The company wants to set up more stores in high-street locations and enter malls only after they become operational and also plans to introduce its range of sunglasses and perfumes.

Welspun Retail shifting stores to gain out of lower rentals

Welspun Retail, a part of the Welspun Group, said on Tuesday said that it was not closing down any stores but relocating a few of them to new places to save on rents. 

“Rentals were very high last year, but with current slowdown in the real estate sector, we are getting offers from developers who are willing to give their properties on rent at much lower rate or enter into a long-term lease. Thus just by relocating, we will save a lot on rentals,” Welspun Retail's Chief Operating Officer Mr Ajay Kumbhat said. 

Mr Kumbhat said that since rent accounts for around 25 per cent of the cost of operations, getting into a new place at a lower rental meant a lot of savings on that account. “However, we are not closing down any of our stores. We are only relocating some of them to new places in the same locality aiming to maintain market share,” Mr Kumbhat said. 

Welspun Retail, which sells home interiors, has 240 'Welhome' stores in 120 cities and two exclusive 'Spaces Home & Beyond' stores. Welhome caters to the masses and Spaces Home & Beyond meets the 'aspirational demand' of the upper strata of the society. Mr Kumbhat said that the company has already relocated 10-15 stores and is in the process of identifying others which deserve relocation.

Wal-Mart celebrating Earth Month; launches eco friendly bags in India

In an effort to create awareness about green environment, the US retailer Wal-Mart plans to unveil a number of earth friendly products as part of celebrating global Earth Month this April. As part of the plan, Wal-Mart has unveiled flip flops made of 100 per cent recyclable materials in India at Easy Day stores, which are wholly owned and operated by Bharti Retail, according to a company press release.

Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart International, said, “Sustainability is a part of the everyday lives of associates who work at our Super centers, Bodegas, Todo Dias, Sam’s Clubs and offices around the world. We know we can make the greatest impact on our communities by offering eco-friendly products and by supporting sustainable projects that are important to our customers.” 

While in China, the company is offering a mainstays compressed pillow resulting in savings in transportation costs and shelf space, Wal-Mart Puerto Rico launched fashionable and reusable shopping bags with artwork from the Ponce Art Museum and is donating proceeds from the sales of the bag to the museum. 

In partnership with Unilever, Wal-Mart Argentina also launched a special Earth Month edition reusable shopping bag and Wal-Mart Canada announced its move to compaction in powdered laundry detergent. Besides, the company has partnered with local governments and NGOs and will engage its 2.2 million associates worldwide in promoting a cleaner, safer and healthier environment. 

“Wal-Mart’s global environmental goals are simple and straightforward. We want to be supplied 100 per cent by renewable energy to create zero waste and to sell products that sustain our resources and the environment,” added McMillon. 

Wal-Mart Stores Inc operates Walmart discount stores, super centers, neighborhood markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom, added the release.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shoppers Stop’s in-store marketing makes the cut for 2009 World Retail Awards

n-store marketing campaigns for a diverse range of international retailers have been shortlisted for the 2009 World Retail Awards to be held in Barcelona, Spain in May. Six retail campaigns have been selected, and will now go head to head to win the In-store Retail Advertising Award at the 2009 World Retail Awards. Making the cut is India's Shoppers Stop's 'Start Something New' campaign, along with Carrefour’s 'With Love to the Environment' in Poland; Nokia’s 'Nseries 2008' at its UK flagship store in London’s West End; Flexa’s 'Invest in Your Children' in Denmark; Max’s 'Max in the City' in Dubai and Saks Fifth Avenue’s 'Holiday 2008' in the US.

In addition to the In-Store Retail Advertising Award, winners will be announced across nine more categories at the Awards Gala Ceremony, which is held each year during the World Retail Congress in Barcelona and the event for this year will take place on May 7, 2009. 

Shortlists have also been revealed in the following seven categories (two remaining awards, which are by nomination only, will be presented to the Oracle-sponsored Retailer of the Year, and Multi Market Retailer of the Year. 

Responsible Retailer of the Year
Cargills Food City; Woolworths Holdings; Tesco Plc; Marks and Spencer; MIGROS; Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC 

Retail Design of the Year
Nike Inc; HMV; Timberland; Harvey Nichols; Monki AB; Teknosa

Emerging Market Retailer of the Year
Fozzy Group; BreadTalk; WUMART STORES, INC; Truworths International; SMYK Sp. z o.o.; Empik Sp.z o.o.

Retail Advertising Award - Traditional Media
Wm Morrison Supermarket PLC; Macy's; Pick n Pay; Target Australia; BURGER KING; Payless ShoeSource; Ricardo Eletro 

Retail Advertising Award - Direct Marketing
Bloomingdale’s; OfficeMax, Inc.; HSBC; Saks Fifth Avenue 

Retail Advertising Award - Digital
JCPenney; HSBC; OfficeMax; Kmart; TK MAXX; Sears

Etailer of the Year
YOOX Group; New Look Retailers; Tesco Stores Limited; Topman; mydeco.com; Zappos.com 

The nine award winners will be selected by a grand jury that comprises a broad spectrum of CEO level, respected retailers and industry advisors from around the world, including Mohammed Alshaya, chairman, MH Alshaya Company; Bernie Brookes, CEO, Myer; Paul Charron, senior advisor, Warburg Pincus; Ravi Dahr, director and professor of marketing, Yale Center for Customer Insights; W Sean Ford, VP, Global Business Unit Marketing, Oracle; Dr Wu Jianzhong, chairman, Wumart Group; Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director, Corporate and Legal Affairs, Tesco; Richard Simonin, group CEO, ETAM; Bijou Kurien, president and chief executive – Lifestyle Division, Reliance Retail; Andrew Jennings, group managing director - Retail, Woolworths; Dow Famulak, CEO, LF Europe and executive director, Li & Fung (Trading) Limited; Matt Rubel, president and CEO, Collective Brands Inc. 

Now in its third year, the 2009 World Retail Awards held in partnership with Oracle are a part of the World Retail Congress, which will be held in Barcelona from May 6-8, 2009.