Leading department store retailer Shoppers Stop is betting big on an omni-channel retail strategy as the part of strategy to grow its business and aims to be completely debt-free by the end of this fiscal.
"We believe that these exits (divestment) will serve in giving us the eagle eye focus required to significantly scale-up our core-businesses while also dramatically change our balance sheet and thereby increase shareholder value. We aim to be completely debt-free by financial year 2018-19," Shopper Stop said in annual report for 2017-18.
It further said: "This year, the company shall focus on strengthening its e-commerce presence to build on the investments made over the last three years to drive more than 100 per cent sales growth, and to create seamless experiences across online and offline in order to drive digitally influenced store sales, as well as adoption of digital channels by store customers and on leveraging its partnership with Amazon."
Elaborating on its offline expansion plans, Shoppers Stop said: "We plan to open 4-6 department stores and 8-10 beauty stores each year for the next 3 years to reach a wider and broader footprint. Where our physical stores are not present, our online shopping site will give customers the joy of shopping at a single click. Our robust investment in omni-channel will continue steadfastly."
Shoppers Stop reduced its debt by Rs 508 crore during the year. At the beginning of the year 2017-18, the company had a debt of Rs 575.90 crore at standalone level and Rs 885.10 crore at consolidated level, which has been reduced to Rs 87.37 crore and Rs 125.34 crore, respectively.
As per the report besides continuing to invest in retail front end as well as back end processes with IT enablement, the company is investing into technology transformational projects. The company believes that continuous investment in people, process and technology will drive sustainable and profitable growth for the Company.
At present, Shopper Stop has 84 stores across the country (including six airport stores) and 13 HomeStop stores.