Increase in organised retail in eastern India

A consumer durables retailer which commenced operations in 1999 in Patna with a single store in the city was surprised to see sales of inverter ACs worth Rs 60,000 from places such as Sitamarhi in Bihar. There is clearly an aspirational shift in earlier rural or semi-urban eastern India, which is benefiting from the availability of branded products in the region.

The company in question is a multi-brand, multi-product retail chain that stocks an entire range of consumer durables including air-conditioners, TVs, washing machines, refrigerators, microwaves, home theatre systems, mobile phones, small home appliances and such. The products on offer are those manufactured by some of the best companies in the business.

The JM Financial survey found that the expansion of electricity in and into smaller regions is reflecting in sales in smaller towns and cities. Remittance income from other Indian cities as well as overseas, such as West Asia, has also been triggering consumption.In FY18, the company opened showrooms in various towns of Bihar like Biharsharif, Aurangabad, Nawada, Samastipur, Motihari, Bettiah, Hajipur and Ara and YTD-FY19, it has opened outlets in Gaya, Sasaram, Sitamarhi and Anisabad.

The company; after strong expansion from 2014, now has 32 stores across the state. It is focused on improving its top line, which came in at Rs 536 crore in FY18 – 48 per cent YoY.