Kishore Biyani unveils big expansion plans for Future Group this year

Kishore Biyani, head of Future Group, outlined mega expansion plans for his retailing business for the next 12-15 months in the context of the entry of WalMart into India’s retailing sector.

“Our plan is to add 1,000 small stores over the next 12-15 months,” Biyani told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

“Our plan is to open up another 35-40 Big Bazaars, our plan is open another 50-60 Brand Factories.. There are 60-70 FBBs coming up this year,” he added.

Big Bazaar is the flagship super market chain run by the group under its unit Future Retail, while Brand Factory is the name of its large-format clothing retail outlets. Fashion at Big Bazaar or FBB are smaller outlets that too focus on clothes.

As of December 2017, the company had 259 Big Bazaars and 59 FBB outlets. The number of smaller stores under its Easy Day brand was 611.

In all, Future Retail had 955 outlets as of December (see chart).

Biyani said this year’s expansion plan is “one of the larger plans” in the company’s history. His comments come two days after he said he was looking to go for strategic partnership with a global player.

Biyani also said he expects the tide to turn decisively in favor of organized retail in coming years.

“We are something happening structurally to favor modern and organized retail, we believe the best is now coming up,” he said in the interview.

“We’ve made the platform to make this happen and there are more players coming up. That should help hasten up the whole process. What has happened in the last 20-25 years should definitely happen in the next five years.. at least in the next seven years,” he added.

Shares of Future Retail were trading down 1.7% as some investors booked their profits after the stock ran up 7% yesterday on news that the company could go for a strategic stake sale to compete with WalMart, which shelled out $16 bln to buy India’s largest online retailer Flipkart earlier this week.