Retail majors caught off guard, sales dip 25%

Written by Mona Mehta | Mumbai | Updated: Aug 16 2009, 05:09am hrs
Major retailers have been caught offguard by the swine flu outbreak, and have considerably scaled down their expectations from the ongoing festive season sales.

Future Group, which discontinued its advertising of `5 Days Maha Bachat offer for Big Bazaar hypermarkets in Mumbai and Pune in the past two days upon directives by the government, says all its stores are open but sales will be hit. Kishore Biyani, CEO, Future Group told FE, Although we have discontinued with advertising on offers, all our stores are very much open." Biyani said that there is a dent of about 20% to 30% in footfalls. "But, we hope to achieve revenues to the tune of Rs 250 crore on the completion of the five days offer, he added. This would mean a revenue generation of Rs 50 crore a day, while, in comparison, Big Bazaar hypermarkets generated Rs 100 crore a day last year for a similar sales drive.

On a day-to-day basis, a premium departmental store like Shoppers Stop generates footfalls to the tune of 50,000 to 60,000 footfalls, in comparison to 1.5 to 2 lakh footfalls which retail malls generates during week-ends, says Govind Shrikhande, chief executive officer, Shoppers Stop Ltd. According to him, Due to the ongoing swine flu scare, we have generated 25% dip in footfalls at Shoppers Stop in the West, which will have a negative impact on our sales. However, we expect the weekend to be better. Currently, there are 27 Shoppers Stop stores based in India.

Inorbit Mall, which generates 15% to 20% sales during weekends, in comparison to 5% to 10% during weekdays, has witnessed a 25% dip in sales since the swine flu scare in Mumbai, said Manoj Agarwal, assistant vice-president-operations. Sunil Shroff, general manager, Inorbit Mall (Vashi), says, We have witnessed 12 to 15% dent in footfalls here since the past two days during the weekdays. However, we hope the footfalls to be better during the weekends. Paresh Mishra, general manager, InOrbit Mall (Malad) added that all events and promotions have been cancelled for the weekend and the dent is footfalls is to the tune of 10%.