Posts filed under ‘Retail’

India’s Retail Malls Empty – Slash rentals – Convert to Offices

Supply and DemandImage via Wikipedia

Mall mania seems to be fading. With inflation cautioning consumers, retailers, too, are watching their step.

While previously it was a mall-owner’s market — with the mall demanding fixed, steep rents, the market has now turned around with malls pitching lower rentals to woo retailers.

“Despite lack of quality space in the market, the top eight cities in India are currently witnessing around 18% vacancy across the 40 mn sq ft of operational malls. This is because most of the supply has come within the same micro-markets targeting the same catchments, creating an oversupply,” says Rajneesh Mahajan, director of retail services at real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield.

This has had two major implications — malls have slashed rentals or are converting their projects into office projects.

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August 6, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Dirty secrets of low ‘China Price’

Made in China is a true-blue global term.From pitchkaris and colours used to play Holi in India to mobiles, PCs and laptops used the world over, everything seems to be Made in China.
How did China become the factory of the world?

The answer is obvious: China produces goods at such a low cost that no country can seem to compete with it.

Given that, ‘profit-hungry’ corporations across the world find it logical to outsource their production to China.

Which begs the question, how do factories in China produce at such a low cost?
Is access to cheap labour the only answer?

There are some ‘five-star’ factories behind the story, says Alexandra Harney, former journalist with The Financial Times, London, may have found the secret to ‘The China Price’.

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August 4, 2008 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

ITC inaugurates ‘e-choupal’ retail network

Diversified business player ITC today announced the expansion of the company’s rural retail service ‘e-choupal’ network to Tamil Nadu with the launch of the first store at Sivganga.

The e-choupal network would provide agri-extension services to empower farmers through increased productivity of crops like paddy, ITC said in a statement.

“ITC’s proven expertise in the agri-sector will now be available to the poorest of farmers in the state and give them an opportunity to leverage the power of information technology and also benefit from high quality extension services,” ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar said.

The company said that e-choupal would also specifically address the challenges faced by farmers in the predominantly dry areas of the state and improve yields and quality of crops.


August 4, 2008 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Fashion giants close Indian sourcing functions

Global apparel brands that are reeling under the impact of weak consumer sentiments worldwide are beginning to pull back their direct sourcing operations from India.

In recent weeks, fashion clothing giant Timberland closed down its India office and handed over sourcing functions to thirdparty management firm Li & Fung. Another American fashion icon Liz Claiborne is believed to be reviewing local sourcing operations as retailers go in for cost cutting to survive a market gloom, sources said. Liz Claiborne’s India sourcing, mainly centred around its Mexx brand, is estimated at $100 million. Timberland’s local sourcing was smaller at around $30 million annually.

Observers said sourcing becomes invariably the first casualty in the restructuring moves of most international fashion houses. UK retailer Next rejigged its local sourcing operations sometime back by pulling shutters on the Bangalore office, but has kept its India presence alive with a hub in New Delhi. The developments mark a reversal in India’s sourcing story that saw unprecedented boom in recent years. Several top deck and even relatively smaller fashion apparel and accessories retailers started direct sourcing from the country.

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August 1, 2008 at 6:24 am Leave a comment

ITC taps Indian frozen food market

ITC Foods has drawn up plans to foray into the nascent frozen foods category in the domestic market within the next six-eight months. The company will extend its Kitchen of India brand to frozen foods, which would include meals packaged in trays and snacks.

ITC recently began exporting frozen vegetarian foods to markets such as the US and Canada, since exporting non-vegetarian foods out of India is restricted. The company is manufacturing the frozen foods range at its Bangalore facility, and will use the same to cater to the domestic market as well, ITC Foods CEO Ravi Naware told ET .

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August 1, 2008 at 5:13 am Leave a comment

Inflation – Good for Indian Retailers

Everyone loves a good discount. And it comes in as an incentive especially during times of inflation. For apparel discount retailers, inflation has proved to be a blessing. Arvind’s branded discount retail chain Megamart has seen an improvement in walk-ins of 15% in the past few weeks.

“During inflation, customers always prefer to shop in a value retail outlet,” says KE Venkatachalapathy, business head of Megamart. The increased footfall is reflecting in the sales figure of Megamart as well. While he refuses to divulge exact numbers, Venkatachalapathy says there has been a 20% increase in sales compared to the corresponding period last year. Discounts here vary from 10% to 30%.

Inflation and discount retailing are directly proportional. Customers normally tend to flock to value retail stores where they are assured of good quality at reasonable prices,” says Raghunath Narayanan, MD of Chennai discount retailer Europa.

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July 31, 2008 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Spencer’s opening 300 outlets all over India

RPG Group company Spencer’s Retail has decided to close down at least 40 unviable outlets and open another 300 in the next 12 months. The company is also looking at developing the Old Mint building on Strand Road where it intends to put up a mall to begin with.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the 30th AGM of CESC, Sanjiv Goenka said: “At least 10% of our existing Spencer’s outlets are loss-making and we have decided to close them down. Currently, there are about 410 outlets nationally and the exact number of loss-making stores will be mapped and a decision on closing them down will be taken soon. Stores that have turned unprofitable are mainly due to very high rents, bad hinterland and poor sales. Parallely, we intend to open 300 new stores in the next 12 months.” Mr Goenka, however, declined to disclose details of locales which will see shutdown of outlets.

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July 31, 2008 at 11:10 am Leave a comment

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