Kishore Biyani’s Future Group expects its new direct selling platform, Big Bazaar Direct, to have a wider reach than the company’s Big Bazaar format. Under the new format, the company plans to partner with 1 lakh franchisee partners.
“This is a completely new format. We have never tried this before, If it works, it will be bigger than Big Bazaar. We have launched the format in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region and planning to take it to northeast and Gujarat,” Biyani told reporters on the sidelines of the retail forum.
Big Bazaar Direct is a franchisee-based model where the franchisees will personally visit consumers and take orders for products on tablets.
Under the format, entrepreneurs will pay Rs 3 lakh to become a franchisee partner. The products will be delivered to consumers within seven days.
This is the second such initiative of Future Group where it is partnering with franchisees. The company had launched another format KB Fairprice, under which the company offers franchisee model to grocery shopkeepers through a nine-year agreement. Shopkeepers are required to pay a registration fee and the initial working capital.
“We believe KB’s Fairprice will be the key channel and catalyst for the growth of company-owned FMCG brands and help make Future Consumer Enterprises among the leading FMCG companies in the country,” Biyani said.
Biyani also said that the company’s fashion business, Future Lifestyle Fashion, will be listed on the stock exchanges next week. The company had demerged its fashion business — comprising of Central, Brand Factory and fashion brands — into a new company last year.
Biyani also said that strong monsoons and the upcoming festival season will help retailers at a time when discretionary spending tapers.
“RBI’s clamp down on 0% interest schemes is anti-consumption. But it will not have much of an impact on consumer spending. Consumers will not stop spending just because rates have gone up or 0% schemes have stopped. If somebody wants to buy, that should be encouraged,” Biyani said
He added that although the retail sector is facing challenges, consumers are spending on smaller products as they postpone big purchases.
Govind Shrikhande, managing director, Shoppers Stop, said, “RBI should have changed certain aspects of the scheme, if it had loopholes, instead of stopping the 0% interest scheme. But with the festival season coming up, we do not see consumption getting affected for the next few months.”