Future Group may take retailing to urban slums

Future Group may take retailing to urban slums

New Delhi: Kishore Biyani’s Future Group is toying with the idea of taking retailing to the bottom of the pyramid in urban areas—the slums.

According to sources close to the development, the group recently conducted a study on Mumbai’s slum dwellers on their lifestyle, earning and spending behaviour, consumption pattern and attitude toward shopping destinations and brands.

With eight million out of Mumbai’s 12 million population living in slums, the potential of retailing in those areas appeared very big.

A company spokesperson confirmed it had conducted the study. “However, there is no concrete plan as such on whether to enter this space or not at the moment. We were just exploring possibilities," the spokesperson said.

The study found that the populace there considered fancy shopping destinations to be far off requiring a full day’s preparation, besides having the mental block of being charged extra for “the drama."

Industry sources said the study was a natural extension after the group’s plan to set up 1,500 new format fair price shops—to be named KB’s Fair Price shops—over the next two years. The fair price stores will sell leading brands of essential items at a rate almost 10% cheaper than the market price

If it finally decides to open stores in slums, this will be yet another innovative method from the Future Group which changed the rules of retailing with throwaway prices at its Big Bazaar chain of outlets.