Big Bazaar Direct, piloted last August in Nagpur, is a concept where these franchisees will serve as point of sales, offering customers a choice mix of home fashion, merchandise and fashion from Big Bazaar. This is done with the help of a tablet with the best deals from Big Bazaar. The franchisees armed with a tablet, will secure orders at customers' doorstep, and product delivery will take place in a week's time.
The company has identified three kinds of franchisees for this venture. The first category pertains to kirana shop and medical shop owners who already have certain footfalls and are looking for additional line of products to sell. Also, people in services business like cable operators or running Suvidha bill payment outlets can also become franchisees for Big Bazaar direct while the third category relates to homemakers who can do direct selling of these products. This is our omni-channel retail strategy or an agent-led franchise model where consumers can shop at their convenience with the help of Big Bazaar Direct franchisees. We want to expand this network as it is not viable to open retail stores everywhere and we don't need inventory in this model because all orders are placed through the tablet, said Vivek Biyani, director, Big Bazaar Direct. He added the firm is aiming to have an average business of R4-5 lakh from each Big Bazaar franchisee.
With more than 150 franchisees in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi, the company is now looking at Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to enroll close to 1,000 franchisees by March and 50,000 in 2015. However, no commission is paid to the franchisees or making more agents but the agents have to pay Rs 3 lakh to the company to get a franchisee. Of this, one third would be joining fee including the cost of branding, training and the tablet and a similar amount has been earmarked for a security deposit which the franchisee gets back while rest of the amount is for advance order which can be recovered when the franchisee books orders worth Rs 1 lakh.
Big Bazaar also aims to reach out to towns and cities where it is not geographically present to gain access to customers who do not shop at modern retail formats through this initiative. Interestingly, Big Bazaar has received a whopping 20,000 applications from aspiring as well as existing entrepreneurs across the NCR region and plans to launch its Big Bazaar Direct Franchisee centre which will help aspiring entrepreneurs to understand this business model.