While we stock the regular FMCG staples and groceries, we have a unique 'fresh line' concept in our bigger stores, where we sell fresh chicken, fish and meats, cut and cleaned to the desired specifications.
We also have full ready to- eat roast chicken and grilled fish prepared in our speciality in-house marinations. Apart from this, we also sell a wide range of imported and local cold cuts and cheese, sliced and cut as per specifications.
Do you agree that gourmet is still a niche category? What kind of response you are generating from this range? And, what are the latest trends in this category?
The gourmet category shows a growth of over 20 percent Y-o-Y.People in Goa are well read and well travelled. Also Goa is
a tourist destination, so there is a general sense of awareness and desire towards gourmet and imported products. Lately we have seen a boost in organic/ gluten free/sugar free products as well as an increase in demand for premium cold cuts and sliced meats.
What was the rationale behind partnering with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL)? How has been the response from petrol pump outlets?
When we begun with BPCL, it was a relationship building exercise. Their stores were normally (and most still are) being run by the pump owners/operators who do not have the expertise in this domain.
We succeeded exceedingly well and we are still the highest grosser in terms of revenue in the entire western region of BPCL as this happens to be our core business strength. And we had the advantage of aggregation and consolidation of product offerings with our other stores. Besides, the petrol station brought in the much needed footfalls. Our job was to only deliver quality goods and service. We understood that well and turned the BPCL story into our success.
Through the petrol pump outlets, the focus is on staples, groceries, fresh and FMCG products. We have still not ventured into the gourmet offerings mainly because of lack of space, fire and hazard stipulations at petrol pump outlets and ofcourse parking constraints.
Which is your best performing store among all? Also, highlight your distribution and growth plans?
All 10 stores are run and managed by us; however our newest store coming up in Margao city, Goa is a franchise. This is our first franchise store and we see this as a good expansion model for the future. We have different parameters to evaluate our stores performance, for e.g on a sales per sq ft basis, rentals per area, footfalls per area basis etc.
But I think our greatest showstopper is the parameter of 'goodwill per store' basis. Our original Miramar store comes out tops. Despite being 25 years next year, it is one of our largest grosser of footfalls, sales and the overall Magsons image. We have two vehicles looking after our distribution network which involves one distribution center and the rest are DTS supplies. A group cluster manager coordinates the purchasing and distribution function. We have three qualified area managers who oversee routine functions of coordinating with an average of three to four assigned store managers. We are currently testing our new foray into e-commerce and web based mobile app software.
What is the average size of your stores and hypermarket? Who is your target audience? What is your average bill size from petrol pump outlets as well as other retail chains?
Our Hymart stores range from 5,000 to 6,500 sq.ft , while we stock general FMCG food and non food-products, our focus lies in food retail and we cater to all audiences passionate about food. At our larger stores like Hymart and Porvorim, we have an average ticket size of Rs 650 and at the petrol pump outlets we have a ticket size of Rs 300 to 350.
According to you, when should a regional retailer expand nationally?
In our case we would like to have a strong home market base and implement robust systems and processes at the backend as well as front end before looking at national markets. Goa is still considered a rural regional market, mainly because of lack of density and population (the State population is 1.5 million spread over 3700 sq kms). We are in talks with large franchising agencies and consultants to assist us in our foray into other states.