Delhi: ITC Ltd has announced that it plans to set
up new small format ''hypermarket'' stores in rural areas,
along the lines of its existing rural Choupal Sagar chain,
by early next year. The company also plans to up scale
its retail operations.
company is reportedly planning a significant number of
smaller Choupal Sagar stores at 40 locations out of 170
across the country, where ITC runs its big format stores.
company plans to achieve significant penetration in the
rural areas, which are characterised by lower income levels,
through smaller Choupal Sagar stores that cover around
one acre of area. These stores would cost about Rs2 crore
apiece, and would be set up in the rural and semi-rural
areas of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and
ITC is seeking a many-fold increase in its number of e-Choupal,
a platform where villagers can access internet, in the
coming five - six years, with plans to expand it from
around 6,400 in 130 districts to 20,000 across 350 districts.
The company also plans to open around 200 new ''Choupal
Fresh'' outlets in major towns of the country, which would
include metros, in a move to expand the retail points
to the urban areas. The urban retail chain focuses on
stocking fresh horticulture produce like fruits and vegetables,
for which ITC has set up cold chain.
company presently has three Choupal Fresh stores located
in Pune, Hyderabad and Chandigarh, and the number is likely
to go up to 50 in these three cities by this fiscal. The
second phase of the project would see ITC set up 140 new
stores in other cities, which would include Kolkata, Delhi
company is also focusing on strengthening its health services
in rural India. It has already experimented with the concept
in Madhya Pradesh, and has plans to expand into Uttar
Pradesh and Maharashtra.