Kendriya Bhandar (http://persmin.nic.in/dopt/KB1.html),
the profit-making consumer cooperative, has drawn up a
blueprint for growth and expansion by opening more stores.
The plan also envisages
the Bhandar offering its customers a better shopping experience
through improved ambience in the stores and expanding
the range of products it has to offer.
is improving the internal layout of its stores, to give
customers a more enjoyable shopping experience. Hence,
the entire chain is being classified into gold, silver
and copper standard stores, the classification being
dependent on the amenities, goods and ambience each store
which retails consumer goods, groceries, stationery, office
equipment and furniture, reported a turnover of Rs 261.6
crore during 2001-02. The Kendriya Bhandar consumer cooperative
stores have grown from just one store in 1963 to the present
Set up in 1963
as a welfare project of the government for the benefit
of central government employees, their families and other
customers, its objectives were to provide essential commodities
of daily needs to customers at reasonable prices and to
assist the government in holding the price line and ensure
distribution of scarce commodities at controlled prices.
has the distinction of being the largest consumer cooperative
society in India in terms of membership. It has more than
77,000 members, inclusive of associate members.
Much of the change
imminent in the Kendriya Bhandars is due to the efforts
of Minister for Small-scale Industries and Personnel,
Public Grievances and Pensions Vasundhara Raje.
A recent survey
conducted by Kendriya Bhandar reported that about 48 per
cent of the consumers of the store were state and central
government employees, who in effect constitute just around
1 per cent of the total population of the country.
The ministry then
realised that there is the vast untapped corporate sector,
which presents a great potential for the Kendriya Bhandars
to leverage its national network and improve its share
of non-governmental business.
But the face of
retailing in the metros and mini-metros is changing and
more and more shopping malls with their swank air-conditioned
ambience are taking the place of shabby and small mom-and-pop
Needless to say
this has changed consumer perceptions about what shopping
should be all about. This may well be among the main reasons
the ministry feels that the Kendriya Bhandars could do
with an overhaul.
say around Rs 80 lakh will be spent on doing up eight
stores in Delhi alone. If Raje gets her way further, the
Indian version of the American $1 stores where any of
the goods stocked cost $1 or less may also come to India.
For the time being, however,
the first version of such a store the Kendriya Bhandar
at Netaji Nagar in Delhi will open its door to customers
on 19 September 2002.
also see : http://persmin.nic.in/dopt/KB1.html