New Delhi: The Future Group, promoted by organized retail pioneer Kishore Biyani, on Tuesday bought the lone India franchisee store of Shoprite Holdings Ltd, South Africa’s biggest grocery chain.
Located at Mulund in Mumbai, the Shoprite store will be used to unveil the Future Group’s new brand of stores over the weekend, a company executive said.
The new brand of shops will mostly stock food items, the official said, requesting anonymity ahead of an official announcement of the acquisition. The store, spread over 55,000 sq. ft, will also house a bakery.
“We always wanted to do a large format store dedicated mostly to food and we took over the Shoprite store,” he said. “Most probably we will start our food store on Saturday.”
Going large-scale: Furure Group’s Kishore Biyani. The new store, spread over 55,000 sq. ft, will most likely begin operations from Saturday. Hemant Mishra/Mint
The executive declined to name the new brand and the money the group paid to buy the store.
A Shoprite executive confirmed the development. This official, who also declined to be named, refused any further detail, including why the store was sold to the Biyani-led group.
Shoprite sold multi-brand products in India through a franchisee agreement with Mumbai-based property developer Nirmal Lifestyle. Rajiv Jain, director of Nirmal Lifestyle, and Biyani, chief executive of Future Group, could not be immediately reached for comments.
The Future Group’s flagship Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd operates a food supermarket chain called Food Bazaar. These shops are smaller than its Big Bazaar chain. While Food Bazaars are between 10,000 sq. ft and 15,000 sq. ft each, Big Bazaar stores cover an area of around 50,000 sq ft. Nearly 45% of the stock in Big Bazaar stores consists of food items; clothes and general merchandize make up the remaining.
The Future Group executive said about 85% of the stock in the new brand would be food items. “If it works, we’ll look at more such stores,” he added.