Retail in Asia

In Shops

India’s Shoppers Stop well poised to expand

Raheja-owned Indian department store chain Shoppers Stop has gone off the beaten track. At a time, when bigger players such as Pantaloon and Aditya Birla Retail are either shutting stores or looking at halting expansion to preserve cash and check losses, Shoppers Stop is moving ahead with its expansion plans.

Consider this. The company, which had taken 18 years to open the first 25 stores, rolled out 26 stores in the last three years, of which as many as 13 in financial year (FY) 2012 alone. Shoppers Stop is stepping on the gas and is looking at opening a total of 24 department stores, or 8 stores in each of the next three years, involving an investment of INR300 crore (INR3 billion, USD58.1 million). Analysts say the company has many positives working for it where others are facing many financial issues.

While Kishore Biyani’s Pantaloon is battling high debt of INR7,800 crore and negative cash flows, Birla Retail is on a drive to cut losses. Shoppers with a debt-equity of 0.75 times and expected cash flows of INR300 crore over FY 2012 to FY 2014, is well poised to expand its network, say analysts.