The future of retail is in offline stores: Rakesh Biyani
The future of retail is in offline stores: Rakesh Biyani

It is been the surging time for Future Group this year with its sale growing 20-100 during ongoing festive. The company has been witnessing robust demand in categories like Apparel, home products, electronics and gift products among others. At the same time its in-house labels have been contributing 8- 95 percent sales in apparel to laundry products categories. Seeing that more demand is coming from new emerging consumers, the company is also adapting itself to cater their own set of needs. Thus, also talking about growing inflation and future of retail Rakesh Biyani, Joint Managing Director, Future Retail Limited spoke to    

How has been the sale during ongoing festive season?
The sale across the country is very interesting. Kerala market has done very well. In the festive season there is around 20 to 100 percent growth in sale. In every quarter we have been growing at around 14- 16 percent and we want to ensure that we maintain the same momentum.

What kind of sales is coming from your own labels?
From 8 percent and going up to 95 percent, it differs with categories. Apparel is the largest and laundry products are the lowest contributing category.

How is Future Group changing keeping in mind the young emerging consumers?
Customers are really looking towards worthy products as they think will they get value out of it. If consumers get the value, they will buy that product. We never make a product to replace something with other and that’s not added value. There are new emerging consumers in new India and their requirements are very different and we being an Indian company spending a lot of time understanding the consumers. We are working very hard in building new range of products which are suitable and attractive to the Indian consumers. The young emerging Indian consumers are going to have their own list of products and we have taken the onus to ensure that we fulfill their demand. We are the first FMCG company which has come out of modern retail.

What kind of traction are you getting from personalized discount offers?
We are trying to lure the consumers with target marketing. People who lapses we call them up and those who shop with us but are not coming back, we are trying to see if there is something that we can do to bring them back and that is the intention. Apparel, home products, electronics and gift products are the major drivers during this festive season. Everybody wants something new and at the same time eCommerce companies are busy in selling old stocks and customers also understand this. We operate in the very niche market space where things are quite ok out there and it is our responsibility to work hard and ensure that we keep giving value to the customer. 

Where do you see the future of retail moving towards?
Across the world the future of retail is in retail stores. Omni-channel is a good service oriented tool and every company would want to adapt that.

However RBI is forecasting inflation growth going forward with stagnating GDP growth, how do you see the ground reality?
There is not much difference on the ground. We operate largely in urban areas wherein unlike villages the rain dependency cycle comes much later which create inflationary pressure. Over the last one year across the country the unit value pricing has come down. There is indication by RBI that the GDP growth might decelerate by 0.06 and it will definitely have impact on the new investments in the long term, but in short term there is enough scope to grow. 

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