India Retail Buzz: Koutons Retail, Future Group, Reliance Retail, Marks & Spencer…


Retail is one of the most developing sector in the country with new players and new malls joining the bandwagon daily. But then with ever new player joining in, one or many are also losing out. As the famous saying goes “Someone’s gain is someone else’s loss”.

Over the last week or so there have been many interesting and some not so interesting things happening in the Indian retail space…Here is the run down…


Koutons Retail in deep trouble?


Could this be another instance of a retailer biting the dust? Koutons Retail has delayed its debt repayment and with a current debt of Rs 6.6 billion looks to set to default too unless something is done and that too fast. Their recent loss of about 47% market capitalization on the stocks has sent them into a tizzy. Can they come back from the mess? Your guess is as good as mine.

Future Group awarded the “Most Admired Retailer Group of the Year”


The Future Group led by Kishore Biyani won the “Most Admired Retailer Group of the Year” 2010 award at the Images Retail Awards for the 4th time in a row.

With outlets like Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Pantaloon etc. and a retail space of over 16 million square feet spanning 73 cities and 65 rural locations, you get only one thing. If not Future, then who? I am sure you must be thinking of the Reliance, Tata’s and who not! It’s still early days for them in the retail business.

Reliance Retail tying up with Toys R Us?


For the uninitiated, Toys R Us is the one of the most famous toy retail chains in the world. Reliance was in talks with Toys R Us for a JV quite some time back. But instead it went ahead and partnered with Hamleys – another famous toy retail store. But now it looks like Toys R Us is finally set to make its entry into India via Reliance.

Reliance is doing one thing interesting which other retail players even Future hasn’t been able to do. It’s partnering with international brands in niche and specific categories and bringing them here. How far this would be successful is another point altogether

Marks and Spencer modifies its retail strategy in India

Marks and Spencer (M & S) have changed their positioning strategy for the Indian consumers and some results are finally beginning to show.

The truth is that when M & S used to source goods from the UK and bring to India the costs rose incredibly and more than that the goods weren’t customized for India. They then realised the need for customization as well as shedding their elite, premium priced appeal.

But then don’t you think this strategy could jeopardise their image in the minds of the consumer in other markets where they have an elite appeal?

Retail stores finding it hard to get the right people…

Despite all the brouhaha about retail being the next big thing in the Indian industry; it is still struggling to get the right kind of people to do the job. Salaries, work conditions, lack of attractiveness of the work are some of the many reasons cited by personnel who leave retail jobs day in and day out

Do you think there is any solution to it? Can the retailers do anything special to overcome this challenge?

Retailers of all hues and sizes are trying to make it big in the Indian Retail sector. But as one of our faculty pointed out “It’s always the rule of the three” that is in the long run only the big 3 players will survive the battle!

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