labels: retail, pantaloon retail (india), marketing - general
Future Group gets going with its smaller retail formatnews
06 September 2007

Mumbai: 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.

The 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.

Personnel 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.

Aimed 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.

These stores are likely to be up and running in about two months, with the exact suburban locations to be announced soon.

Commentators 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 customer.

According 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.

According 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.

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Future Group gets going with its smaller retail format