Big Bazaar to focus apparel biz

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Debt-ridden Future Group, which is in the process of trying and testing various methods to get rid of its inventories and debt pressure, has now decided to focus on scaling up its flagship Big Bazaar’s high-margin apparel business. The Future Value Retail (FVR) that operates the 165 hypermarkets will follow a dual strategy to grow its apparel business known as Fashion Big Bazaar (FBB). It will grow as FVR opens more Big Bazaar stores besides adding standalone FBB stores.

FVR is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pantaloon Retail under which its retail business, led by its format divisions, Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar operate. Besides having a presence in the 165 Big Bazaar hypermarkets there are 25 standalone FBB stores. At present FBB contributes 30 per cent to Big Bazaar’s topline, which was about Rs 7,350 crores for the period 2010-11 (ending June 2011). For the same period the company’s borrowing stood at Rs 2,702 crores.

The standalone FBB stores will be smaller with an average space of 15,000-25,000 sq. ft. FBB targets the similar consumer group that visits the Big Bazaar stores looking for value-for-money deals. In its 10th year of operations, Pantaloon Retail’s Big Bazaar recently unveiled a new logo and the tagline was changed to ‘Naye India Ka Bazaar’ (from ‘Isse Sasta Aur Achcha Kahin Nahin’). The company is also revamping several Pantaloons outlets into next generation stores, in line with its strategy to evolve with the consumer preferences.