Aditya Birla to foray into hypermarket retail in about 5 months

Mumbai: The Aditya Birla Group could unveil its hypermarket format in about five months, with the first most probably spring up in Vadodara, according to sources. The company has been working on this format for some time, and is reported to have made considerable progress.

According to industry sources, the group has signed a lease agreement for a hypermarket in Vadodara. The store would measure between 80,000 and 90,000 sq ft., and would be operational by end January 2008.

Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Retail recently launched the country's largest hypermarket measuring 165,000 sq ft in Ahmedabad.

The Gujarat market seems to be the preferred launch pad among organised retail players, mainly because it is a very tough market for a company to operate in, on account of consumer behaviour, preferences and spending patterns, which are crucial to a hypermarket's success. Tackling the toughest state first, retail players tend to use the learning curve from their Gujarat launch to ensure smoother rollout experiences in other parts of the country.

In June 2007, the unlisted Aditya Birla Retail commenced business with the launch of its supermarket format under the brand, "More". At present, the company has 14 more supermarkets in operation in Pune, and is reportedly scouting for locations for both the supermarket and hypermarket formats in other parts of the country.

Previously, Aditya Birla Retail had acquired Trinethra, the 172-odd-store-strong Hyderabad-based supermarket retail chain.