Metro Cash and Carry tweaks strategy, adopts push-selling in India

Under the new strategy, Metro sales advisors visit the stores with tablets, push sales, take orders on the spot from the kirana store, and get those orders delivered to the store


Metro has, in past three months, doubled its direct sales team after the initial success.
Metro has, in past three months, doubled its direct sales team after the initial success.

New Delhi: German wholesaler Metro Cash and Carry is adopting push mechanism to boost sales in India—a first of its kind globally. Metro Cash and Carry India Pvt Ltd, the local arm of the German retailer, has already formed a team of 20 people as sales advisors who visit kirana stores (neighbourhood shops) on a daily basis to get more kirana store owners to buy from Metro.

Under the new strategy, the Metro sales advisors visit the stores with tablets, push sales, take orders on the spot from the kirana store, and get those orders delivered to the store. The owner of the kirana store does not need to visit a Metro outlet. “The market dynamics is very different in India. You need to reach the customers, they won’t come to you unless they realize the benefits,” said Arvind Mediratta, managing director and chief executive officer, Metro Cash and Carry India Pvt Ltd.

According to Mediratta, push-sale is not a method that Metro follows in any other country for retailing. “This is a concept that is followed for the hotels, restaurants and cafes (HoReCa) in some of the countries. No other market has so many kirana stores like India, and the kirana store concept will be there for few more decades in India. You need to go to them...” Mediratta added.

Metro has, in past three months, doubled its direct sales team after the initial success. “We’ll keep on ramping this up,” said Mediratta, adding that the new concept has been helping the company to increase the share of the wallet of a kirana store—the portion of a kirana store’s total monthly purchase. Besides new customers, these sales advisors, as Metro calls them, also serve existing customers hoping to increase its share of their wallets.

The job of sales advisors is not just to push sales. The salesmen also advise small kirana stores to reorganize and redesign their outlets for better sales, he added.

Mediratta said the company has also hired senior executives as part of its plan to fast track growth. Herjit Bhalla, who was a regional general manager at Hindustan Unilever (HUL), will now head Metro’s operations in east and west of India. Manish Sabnis, who was chief executive at Future Group’s Easy Day, will head Metro’s operations in west and south of India. The company has also hired a few more people at the top level, including Manish Bandlish from Subhiksha.

“For the past few years, we have built the foundation. Now, we’ll have to build the success story on that. These are among the few steps that would help us fast track growth. What we have done for the last 14 years, we want to do that in next three years,” said Mediratta.

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