Aditya Birla Group to ramp up food retail business in India

19 March 2012 (Last Updated March 19th, 2012 05:44)

Indian business conglomerate Aditya Birla Group will invest Rs4bn ($79.74m) over the next two years to ramp up its food retail business operations in India.

Indian business conglomerate Aditya Birla Group will invest Rs4bn ($79.74m) over the next two years to ramp up its food retail business operations in India.

Through this investment, the company plans to set up 15-18 hypermarkets across the country, which will sell everything from detergents to pasta under one roof, reported The Economic Times.

Aditya Birla Retail, the group's unlisted retail arm, will be responsible for store openings.

Aditya Birla Group food retail and fashion retail head Pranab Barua said the company will focus on reducing losses and faster expansion.

"Our expansion plan will centre around hypermarkets. Fashion and food retailing need different strategies and they will remain independent," Barua told the newspaper.

Started in 2006, the retail venture of the Group used most of its investment in setting up small supermarket outlets under the brand name - 'More'.

The firm has invested about Rs20bn ($398.72m) so far, but closed 100-odd outlets in the aftermath of economic slowdown in 2008, which restricted heavy consumer spending.

The food retail business of Aditya Birla Group has shown the signs of recovery by bringing down the losses to Rs4.23bn ($84.32m) in fiscal 2011.

Aditya Birla Retail, which employs 11,000 people, currently operates over 575 More supermarkets and 12 More Megastore hypermarkets.

The company's supermarkets are neighbourhood stores averaging 2,500ft² area, while hypermarkets are self-service superstores with an average store size of 55,000ft² shopping area.