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Dec, 22 2009

Bond with the Next

Of the Rs 4,000 crore branded consumer durable and information technology (CDIT) market, a major chunk is owned by Next, where all the major brands are amalgamating under one roof, giving both the consumers and retailers a wholesome experience. Sunil Meht

What created the need of having a store like Next? What has been the growth of your company over the years?

Consumer durable is a sunrise industry in India. Organised consumer durable sector was not more than 2 per cent of the whole industry when we ventured into it five years ago, which now owns 15-16 per cent share of the pie. We saw tremendous opportunity in this sector and plunged in. Our growth has been to the tune of 40-45 per cent YOY.

Which all consumer durable brands do you retail at Next stores?

We have all the leading brands, which are available in India. Products from Videocon, LG, Sony, Whirlpool, Godrej, Panasonic, Electrolux, Lenovo, Kodak, HP, Dell, Phillips, Onida, Canon, Bajaj and Samsung are retailed at Next stores.

What is the idea behind retailing gifts and toys through Next stores?

We introduced gifts and toys in some of the stores, which were at malls and had younger footfall as a business strategy to involve all the members of the family. The idea was to find out store possibilities for the customers. Gifts and toys are the add-ons to attract children while the housewives look for a washing machine. Secondly, we offer free gifts to the customers though we do not provide any discounts as a company policy.

How has franchising assisted you? What assurance do you offer to your franchisees?

Franchising is a model, which has given us reach into rural areas, i.e., Tier II & III areas, where it’s not possible for us to open our own stores. We also offer minimum guarantee to the franchisees.

What kind of training and support do you provide to your franchisees?

We give them periodic training in terms of the systems, customer dealing, soft skill training, and product training to keep them updated on the global trends. Product training and after-sales services are provided by the respective brands whereas soft skills and ERP-related training is provided by our internal faculty.

Enlighten us on your cash n carry business under the brand name, Bolld.

Cash n carry is a potential segment that Videocon is trying to get into. Because of the slowdown, we have put it on hold but we are waiting for the right time to launch it. The concept is catching on as the retailers are conscious of their ROI and this concept not only increase the margins but turn their conventional store to modern one.

What next can be expected from Next?

A lot of things are happening at the backend. We are looking at some sort of revenue-haring model, which will create a win-win situation for us and the real estate owners.

We are planning to take the count of our stores to 1,000 from present 500, out of which 300 are franchised. Our stores in metros and tier I cities would be company owned whereas the stores in tier II and Tier III cities would be franchised.

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