labels: itc, retail, marketing - general
ITC to introduce small hypermarkets to rural areas news
23 August 2007

New 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.

The 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.

The 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 Maharashtra.

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.

The 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 and Mumbai.

The 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.

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ITC to introduce small hypermarkets to rural areas