Nirmal D. Menon

Mumbai, Jan. 17

PIRAMAL Holdings Ltd (PHL) has lots in store for its retail chain in 2005. The first in series is branching out across North India.

Piramyd Megastore, the in-house retail chain brand of PHL, will set up shop in Ludhiana and Ahmedabad by May and in Delhi by June this year. It will also put up two mega stores in Pune by October. Each Piramyd Megastore will be around 70,000-80,000 sq ft in size.

Other formats of PHL such as amusement brand Jamin, Piramyd Supermarket will also follow suit.

"Delhi is a virgin market as there are no large format departmental stores except for Shoppers Stop. We plan to exploit this potential by setting up three stores in Delhi by 2006," Mr K.N. Iyer, CEO, Crossroads, told Business Line.

Crossroads, which houses other retail formats such as Piramyd Megastore, Piramyd Supermarket and Jamin, is the mall format of Piramals.

The retail major is also on a signing spree. It has already signed up 11 properties, of which, five will be launched in 2005, four in 2006, and two in 2007. The company is also eyeing five properties across Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Mumbai.

"The strategic intent is to open five stores every year for three years. We have decided to scale up to make ourselves visible across these places," said Mr Iyer.

That's not all. The company has also signed up with Singapore-based leading retail solutions provider JDA Software Group to develop merchandise management system based on consumer purchase history in last four years. This will be operational from October 2005.

"Demand forecasting is the most crucial aspect for any retail chain. This system will enable us to forecast trends in our focus areas of non-apparel categories such as watches, lifestyles and footwear," said Mr Iyer.

Piramyd Megastores will also adorn a new look under the inspection of Mr Stefan Zachary from UK-based Zachary Designs, besides revving up its loyalty programme - Piramyd Power Club.

The programme currently consists of around 80,000 members and contributes around 50 per cent of the total Megastore business.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 18, 2005)
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