Trent Hypermarkets Pvt. Ltd., part of the Tata Group, will open up to 35 mostly small-format Star Bazaar stores this year as the retailer looks to tap consumers in expanding urban limits.
“We need to go closer to customers, and when you want to go closer to customers, you want to have more stores with limited size than large stores which are far away,” Jamshed Daboo, managing director, Trent Hypermarkets, told BloombergQuint. Given the pressure on infrastructure that urban centres are facing, people are finding it extremely tedious to travel, he said.
The size of the new stores will be in the range of 7,000-7,500 square feet and the company has also cut the area of some of its large stores by nearly half to 25,000 sq ft over the last two years. Hypercity, a subsidiary of Shoppers Stop Ltd., is also cutting the size of some of its stores, the company recently told BloombergQuint.
Retailers are now looking to reach residential catchments coming up in different parts of a city, said Ashutosh Limaye, head of research at property consultant JLL India. They are now focusing on opening smaller stores which are within the reach of the consumer, he said.
Star Bazaar, a Tata-Tesco Enterprise, has 41 stores in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Kolhapur and is looking to take the count to 65-75 stores in the current financial year and to 200 stores in the next three years.
It is easier for retailers to find smaller stores in cities than larger spaces, said Arvind Singhal, chairman of Technopak Advisors, a retail consultancy firm. Also, the space if available for larger stores is expensive, he said.