Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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‘Health & wellness have become top priority categories’

By Smita Sinha | May 27, 2019

T. Thanushgaran, Chairman and Managing Director of Shri Kannan Departmental Store, tells Point Of Purchase how the 20-year old retail chain has successfully positioned itself as a family store.

T. ThanushgaranT. Thanushgaran, Chairman & MD, Shri Kannan Departmental StoreCoimbatore-based retail chain Shri Kannan Departmental Store, which has around 34 stores in Tamil Nadu, plans to achieve Rs 700 crore turnover next fiscal by opening more stores and by increasing the sales of the current stores. The local retail chain caters to the need of the entire family and at present operates in mini, small and super formats. Point-of-Purchase catches up with T. Thanushgaran, Chairman and Managing Director of Shri Kannan Departmental Store, to know more about the retail strategy of the 20-year old retail chain.

How did the journey of Shri Kannan Departmental Store start?

I started my business in 1985 in Erode with a store called Sangeetha Shopping Center in the city . We used to sell home care and fancy products there. The success of that store led us to start a mega departmental store in 1999 under the name Shri Kannan Departmental Store (SKDS), which began with the idea of being a complete family shop.

How many stores do you have in Tamil Nadu?

As of now we have around 34 stores in Tamil Nadu.

Tell us about the store format of SKDS?

We are operating in Mini, Small and Super formats. The Mini store size ranges from 1,500 to 3,000 sq ft and the SKU’s of the store is around 4,000 – 6,000. In Small format, the store size is below 15,000 sq ft and the SKU’s of the store is 20,000. And the super format store size is above 15,000 sqft.

How encouraging is the market growth for a segment like yours?

As far as retail is concerned, 96% of the sale happens in kirana stores. So here the most encouraging factor is the underlying opportunity.

Any new trends you see in terms of consumer behaviour/buying pattern especially when it comes to procuring the daily needs?

We are seeing a lot of change not only in the buying pattern, but also with regard to in-store experience and creative innovations. The changes are happening quite rapidly compared to the early days when we started this business. Nowadays people are looking for convenience and creative innovations in products.

Additionally, health & wellness categories have become the top priority among consumers. Most of them are looking for products that will bring in a healthy lifestyle pattern. Global and organic foods, healthy snacks and after-wash categories too are seeing growth.

Tell us more about your retail initiatives to connect with your target customers?

We are embracing digital channels to give a complete shopping experience to our customers. We are going online to complement the existing stores. We are also trying to improve the shopping experience of the customers in terms of ambience and bringing in new categories which we haven’t explored so far. We have also added a food court in each store and are looking at integrating technology to aid customers in store.

Any challenges you face in this model of operations?

The entire concept of retailing is going through a revolution today. We are reskilling ourselves constantly. As a departmental store our challenge is to ensure that we thrive through the changes and as a local consumer store, we are modernizing and digitalizing the stores at the same time.

What is your turnover and target for the next fiscal? What do you think will drive it?

As of now we are doing a turnover of Rs 500 crore and our target for the next fiscal year is Rs 700 crore. We are planning to achieve this by opening a few more stores and by increasing the sale at our present stores.

Any plans of taking the retail chain beyond Tamil Nadu?

Yes, we are planning to take SKDS beyond Tamil Nadu. But only after restructuring our production, distribution and our stores as well.

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