New Delhi: Targeting an emerging segment of night shoppers, New Delhi-based round-the-clock convenience chain Twenty Four Seven Retail Stores Pvt. Ltd plans to invest Rs880 crore in opening 1,000 outlets in the next five years.
The company plans to open 178 stores in Delhi and its suburbs before expanding to the country’s commercial capital, Mumbai, next year and then to other major cities.
Last year, the K.K. Modi Group, which sells everything from tobacco to chemicals, forayed into organized retail by opening the country’s first 24-hour convenience store in New Delhi.
So far, it has opened four such outlets in the city. The fifth store is opening by April.
Round-the-clock stores are virtually unknown in India’s Rs30,000 crore-a-year retail market that is growing by 7% each year. Almost half the country’s 1 billion population is below 25 years and more than a million of them work in call centres and other offshoring firms that keep western hours. This has led to shops staying open for longer hours in the evenings to accommodate late night shoppers.
Samir Modi, president of Twenty Four Seven Retail, said around Rs440 crore of its expansion capital would be funded by internal accruals and the rest through private investors. The company plans 80% of the new stores to be franchisee-owned. Modi said there was potential for 100,000 such stores in India in the next 20 years.
“There is an emerging consumer segment who work longer hours”, especially among the workforce in the country’s outsourcing and technology industry, said Devangshu Dutta, head of retail research group, Third Eyesight.
“There has to be something catering to this segment.”
Twenty Four Seven studied various global 24/7 store formats for two years before rolling out its first outlet last year—that too by tweaking the format to suit local buying habits.
For example, every store comes with a pharmacy and stocks 30 flavours of Starbuck Inc.’s bottled coffee, readymeals of rice and lentils, and snacks like samosa. Consumers can also pay their phone bills, develop photographs or buy movie tickets here.
Every Twenty Four Seven store is also guarded by at least two armed men to ensure smooth business at night as almost 60% of the 1,500 shoppers who frequent the stores come in after dark.