Consumer electronics store chain Croma is consolidating its retail business by expanding its presence in the existing cities and develop a more sustainable small store model boosting profitability.
“We have a mandate to make our existing stores more visible and profitable and expand within the cities where we are already present. We currently have no plans to expand the number of cities. About a two thirds of our existing stores are presently profitable,” Ritesh Ghoshal, the chief marketing officer of Infiniti Retail said.
Infiniti Retail, which runs Croma, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons.
Croma is present in major metro cities and surrounding suburbs, excluding Kolkata, and certain tier II cities in Gujarat and Maharashtra. It has about 96 stores, and the plan is to grow within these locations, he added.
Croma has ceased operations in Punjab, but if the GST is implemented, it may re-enter in such markets, Ghoshal said.
“We are in the process of shutting down smaller stores, and finding better locations for them with larger floor space. We are looking at about 8,000 sq ft for larger stores to enable better presentation, and 2,500 sq ft for smaller stores,” he explained.
The company has also remodelled some of its existing stores to promote online and offline integration. Presently, less than 5 per cent of sales come from online channels.
The company is also focussing seriously on the smartphone sales, chasing the recent growth in the category.
“Business has taken a dynamic twist due to e-commerce. Several businesses linked to only smartphone sales have not been able to ride the wave, however, there is some sanity in the market and pricing now,” he said.
The company saw a 28 per cent increase in smartphone unit sales in April-May this year, from the comparable period last year, he pointed out.