1-India Family Mart bets on small towns; targets ₹700-crore business this year

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on July 23, 2019

While most apparel stores eyes tier-I and -II cities to expand and grow, value-retailing chain, 1-India Family Mart, is focusing on strengthening its presence in tier-III and -IV towns.

The company started operations with the launch of its first store at Gazipur, a small town near Varanasi, in 2013. It has since established a network of 88 stores across ten States, including Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. Jaunpur (UP), Udalguri (Assam), Daltanganj (Jharkhand) and Rosera (Bihar) are some of the towns they operate in.

The company is now planning to open its outlets in Kalpahar (Assam), Mohaddinagar (Bihar) and Nayagarh (Orissa) soon. Ravinder Singh, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, 1-India Family Mart, told BusinessLine that the growth opportunity is huge in small towns. “Our prime focus is on fashion apparel. We also sell home furnishings, but this accounts for only 20 per cent of our offerings.”

Business volume

The company clocked a turnover of ₹394 crore in FY2019. “We are targeting a business volume of ₹650 crore to ₹700 crore this year,” he said.

“The economy is down, but considering that our operational costs are low and being in value retail, we are confident of achieving the target. Our products are procured from small regional manufacturers and suppliers and we cater to individuals whose monthly income range between ₹5,000 and ₹25,000.”

Customer retention rate is high in small towns; and so are the aspirations of the people residing there. “We try and match their demand, but the challenge is equally huge as the customers are aware of the ongoing fashion trend. There is rapid change in the fashion industry. We need to work equally fast to procure products and design that are in demand, keeping the on-going trend in mind,” Singhsaid.

1-India Family Mart procures its products — ethnic, western outfits and other items— from around 600 vendors.

To a query on online presence, he said, “We will be starting our own Omni channel soon. It is in pilot mode at this juncture. As our customers are not tech savvy, we will have to educate them about downloading the app and using the same to view the products available at the store in the vicinity. They can then consider to pick them up. We are planning to deliver the ordered products at their doorsteps.”

On capital infusion, Singh said that the company commenced operations with a debt capital of ₹5 crore, raised from close friends. “In 2017, we hired an investment banker to raise funds to take care of our expansion plans. The next year, Carpe Diem invested close to ₹6.5 million in the company. .

Published on July 23, 2019

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