My Dollarstore sets up shop in Coimbatore

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Scouting for space to open second outlet

USHERING IN RETAIL: `My Dollarstore' outlet which opened in Coimbatore. K. Ananthan
USHERING IN RETAIL: `My Dollarstore' outlet which opened in Coimbatore. K. Ananthan

R.Y. Narayanan

Coimbatore, March 15

My Dollarstore, a popular bargain store chain in the US, which had made a bow in India in August 2004 through a franchisee route, opened its first shop in Coimbatore on March 14, and is scouting for space to open its second retail outlet in the city.

Mr Mujib Sayed, Area Manager, Sankalp Retail Value Stores Pvt Ltd, (SRVS), Mumbai, the master franchisee of My Dollarstore USA, told

Business Line

that since opening the first retail outlet in Mumbai in 2004, his company has opened 23 stores either directly or through a franchisee in the country. It has plans to take the number to 35 stores by the end of this month. It is looking at Tirupur for opening an outlet.

International products

He said while a significant percentage of the products sold in the outlets were manufactured in the US, some of them came from countries such as China, UK and Portugal. From India, only beverages were sourced.

The stores stocked products ranging from cosmetics, chocolates, confectionery and food products, toys, auto accessories and cleaners to healthcare products like sugar free jam, chocolates etc.

Some of the international products that are available in the stores include Ajax cleaners, Mars Chocolates, Pringles, V05 shampoo, Gatorade fruit juices and Unilever products. He said while most of the products are sold at Rs 99 per piece, at times two or three pieces are sold for the same price through promotional offers, bringing their unit cost further down.

Asked how the company was able to sell imported products at such a low price, Mr Mujib Sayed said the US partner was a 400- store chain and the Indian stores have only boosted the number. As the business volume was substantial, the principal was able to source the products at a very competitive rate. This benefit was passed on to the customers. The company also opted for lower margin on its sales and to keep the cost down, kept its publicity budget low.

He said the company also followed a `no question asked' policy when customers wanted to return a product, even if it had been partially used, by accepting them back since it valued customer relationship. On the reasons for selecting Coimbatore to open an outlet, he said the southern market was a very mature market for retail business as brand awareness was very high in the region.

His company keeps rotating the products depending on consumer feedback and the bargains it could strike with the product manufacturers. While all the stores have the same products across the country, in some stores the volume and range differs depending on consumer needs.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 16, 2006)
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