Driving Retail Shelves to Higher Profitability

Progressive Grocer|March 2020

Driving Retail Shelves to Higher Profitability
At the India Food Forum 2020, retailers, manufacturers, distributors and supply chain experts were part of a round table discussion on meeting the challenges of higher profitability in Tier I, II & III cities.

Following a period of unprecedented change, the retail industry is facing an environment where margins are increasingly under pressure from rising costs, lower pricing power and the need to invest in digital transformation. At the India Food Forum 2020, retailers, manufacturers, distributors and supply chain experts were part of a round table discussion on meeting the challenges of higher profitability in Tier I, II & III cities.

The discussion was moderated by Dheeraj Arora VP- MT, Ecom and IB, Unilever and Kamaldeep Singh, President, Food LOB, Future Group. The other experts in the panel included:

Amitabh Singh, Head- Modern Trade & Enterprise Business, Dabur

Arshdeep Singh, CEO & MD, Allied Natural Products

Dipti Gupta, Head-Organised Trade, Pepsico Foods

Harshita Gandhi, Director, Tree of Life

Kabir Gossain, Customer Director- Modern Trade, Unilever

Rohit Mehrotra, CEO, Organic Tattva

Saurabh Makhija, Head- Modern Trade, Nestle India

Avinash Joshi, VP & Business Head- F&V, Reliance Retail

Ganesh Mishra, Head- Non-Food, Product- Packaged Goods, Trent Hypermarket

Manan Gada, Director, Society Stores

Manu Bansal, Business Head- Staples, Reliance Retail

Rajiv Sharma, Group Head- Staples, Future Value Retail

Seshu Kumar, National Head – Buying and Merchandising, Big Basket

Dheeraj Arora VP- MT, Ecom and IB, Unilever kickstarted the session by introducing the topic, ‘Driving Retail Shelves to Higher Profitability’. “The objective of the roundtable discussion is profitability in retail which is directly linked with how modern trade has evolved in the last 15 years. We have seen the footprint expansion in metros, Tier I & II towns, and with the advent of e-commerce four-five years ago, we have seen a further jump on the organised trade forum. This has further led retail to an Omni kind of a channel play, which is seamless across online and offline, which together offers a lot to the brand manufacturers and to the consumers both in terms of convenience and the assortment that they have,” said Arora.

Kamaldeep Singh, President, Food LOB, Future Group, the co-moderator agreed, saying, “We have seen two decades of modern trade, especially expansion in newer and smaller cities. The expansion has been in the form of emergence of new channels, e-commerce, hyper stores, convenience stores, small formats, B2B cashand-carry etc. One thing is which is very clear that the format is turning out to be very diverse and volatile. Retail, as we know it historically, has been a very hyper-local business. As organised retail is expanding to newer cities and catchment areas, consumer behavior is changing, and their expectations are also changing. Retailers continue to prepare themselves for the new catchment, driving a central picture for assortment and profitability.”

Avinash Joshi, VP & Business Head- F&V, Reliance Retail explained this further saying, “Being retailers, we undertake some serious catchment studies and research – all different for different cities. There are different types of clusters and the flavour of people is based on these clusters. Apart from this, the assortment also varies from season to season as well as according to customer demand. This last – customer demand – is extremely important. Whatever the customer wants, it’s our job to make it available.”

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March 2020