In India, the proliferation of eCommerce players has been a big disruptor in the retail scenario, given the humongous discounts and flash sales every now and then besides wider choices and ease of procurement.
Locking horns with the online grocery retailers, Kishore Biyani's Future Group has announced a discount scheme on the first eight days of every month at the country's largest supermarket chain Big Bazaar. Touted as one of the most aggressive attempt by a major quintessential retailer, this step will put Big Bazaar in direct competition with the likes of Amazon and Flipkart that recently entered online grocery retailing.
The company has announced the customer-reward system internally to all employees, calling it the next wave of growth for all the Big Bazaar outlets to help acquire new customers, increase the frequency with which people shop and keep them from migrating online.
As per the company, the programme, that starts next month, will help ensure higher footfall across the month instead of just weekends or the first few days after people get their salaries.
"We wanted to bring together all the might of Big Bazaar in an effort to get new customers and at the same time reward existing ones," said Sadashiv Nayak, CEO of Big Bazaar. "Also, this will influence shoppers to look for options across categories instead of just food and groceries."
Biyani headed supermarket has been offering discounts in the country over a decade ago, but the schemes are primarily woven around national holidays.
The new Monthly Bachat Bazaar initiative will be a fixture for every month of the current financial year. Every shopper who buys goods for Rs 2,500 will get cash bonuses and vouchers across segments worth Rs 2,000 from June onward. The vouchers will be redeemable for the rest of the month ensuring repeat footfalls even during otherwise lean shopping periods.
The effort is part of Future Group's larger strategy to rewire itself into something resembling a startup and reinvent itself in a market where disruptive online companies have been challenging brick-and-mortar businesses.
In India, food and grocery account for almost 50 per cent of the overall retail basket. Online penetration, though less than 1 per cent, has already seen a minor shakeout over the past year. Bigbasket is the leader in the inventory-led grocery model, while ZopNow has pivoted to a marketplace model partnering with hypermarkets to source products. Localbanya has temporarily suspended operations.
Some offline players such as Reliance Fresh and Godrej Nature's Basket have also launched omni-channel initiatives. Within the general merchandise players, Amazon India has launched its platform Kirana Now, Flipkart is tapping neighbourhood stores through its logistics arm Ekart, Paytm has launched Zip and Snapdeal has tied up with Godrej Nature's Basket.