“The construction activities had came to a standstill during the lockdown
but now it has picked up in the past 45 days and we are close to opening a couple of these new-format stores in October, November and December,” said Arvind Mediratta, MD & CEO, Metro Cash & Carry.
These new format stores which will be focussing on the traders segment will be launched in smaller towns such as Tumkur and Hubli. The company has also applied cost optimisation programmes which have brought down the capex for the new stores by up to 40 per cent.
“We believe that bigger stores don't mean bigger sales. It only means bigger costs,” said Mediratta.
Continuing to be bullish on kiranas which generate over 50 per cent of the revenue for the wholesale player, the company has launched an e-commerce platform for deliveries which is already contributing in double-digits to the share of business in four months. Earlier for home deliveries the orders would be taken by its 600 odd salesforce, but it is now being done through the app and is fulfilled within 24 hours. The salesforce is now focusing on adding new customers to the 900,000 user base of kirana players it already has and help in modernising them.
The company has a remodelling programme for kiranans to convert them into supermarkets which is taking their sales up by 40-50 per cent, claims the company. The Bengaluru-headquartered company has also set up kirana success centres in all its stores to give advisory to mom-and-pop players on revamping and competing with online and modern retail.
“If kiranas are successful, our share of wallet will go up as they form over 50 per cent of our revenue,” says Mediratta. The company has seen an up to 20 per cent increase in sales from kirana stores
as compared to pre-Covid levels, especially in segments like processed food and toiletries.
A dampener has been the hospitality sector
for the company which contributes 15 per cent of revenue and discretionary spend like apparel and large appliances. The segment saw zero sales during April-May but it picked up later. However, it is still 25 per cent less as compared to a year ago.
Revenue: Rs 6,563 crore*
Total number of stores: 27
Average store size: 40,000-100,000 sq ft
Kirana network: 900,000
Presence in 11 states
*till March 2019, according to RoC documents
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