Kishore Biyani''s Future Group is working on a new retail format, aimed at boosting
online sales in the festive shopping run-up to Diwali.
Group plans to launch half a dozen small stores sized at 150 sq ft in Mumbai,
hosting 40-inch digital screens for customers to use to browse through the entire
range of products. Using online screens, consumers would be able to get a feel
of the company''s entire range of products.
manning the store will personally welcome customers and also help them browse
through relevant sections based on their preferences. Customers will also have
the option of placing an order then and there, with the product being home-delivered
within a few hours.
at leveraging consumers who are not very internet-savvy, the in-store online format
would help them save travel time to hypermarkets or malls at distant locations.
stores are likely to be up and running in about two months, with the exact suburban
locations to be announced soon.
opine that this format could result in a shrinking of real estate costs, as floor
space needed for retailing is much lower than other retail formats, along with
cost benefits coming from optimised inventory management. In most cases, products
could be shipped directly from manufacturers, eliminating inventory altogether.
Time and overhead
cost saves are also facilitated by the online order mechanism, which facilitates
instant communication of the order to manufactures, for onward delivery to the
to an Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) survey, leading categories
for online buying are books and electronic gadgets, followed closely by apparel
accessories, gifts, and computers.
to industry experts, with organised retail getting bigger, e-commerce will soon
become an integral part of business strategies, and will form a significant part
of the overall format mix for retailers.