Annapurna Bhandar

In the first such tie-up of its kind, Kishore Biyani's Future Group will manage the overall public distribution system and ration shops in Rajasthan that will undergo a facelift and be rebranded as Annapurna Bhandar. The alliance will substantially enlarge the product portfolio of the ration shops and allow the Rajasthan government to provide a wide range of household items at lower prices. India's largest retailer, on its part, will gain access to 5,000 outlets across the state to sell its private label products and if successful, it can replicate this model in other states as well.
An agreement between the Rajasthan State Food & Civil Supplies Corp (RSFCSC) and Future Group will be signed on Thursday . Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is expected to be present. “The corporation had issued open tender and Future Group was the successful bidder. Future Group will supply products to our 5,000 outlets in phases,“ said Mahavir Prasad Sharma, MD, RSFCSC.
At present, the PDS stores stock limited products such as wheat, sugar and kerosene. Annapurna Bhandar will have an expanded product portfolio and sell Future's own brand of food products, FMCG items and other household products whose prices will be determined by the state government. “Prices will obviously be lower than the market price. That's why Biyani's private labels will work here,“ said a person familiar with the development. A Rajasthan government official said the PDS stores will also start home delivery of grocery items.
Future Group currently operates KB Fair Price, a stripped-down chain of discount stores and Biyani could take some inspiration from this chain to launch Annapurna Bhandar.
The person familiar with the development said in normal course, PDS stores would see heightened activity for the first week of the month when people visit these shops to stock up on the monthly quota of provisions.
“Business would then taper off with hardly any activity at those outlets once consumers made their monthly purchases in the initial days of months. The idea behind forging the alliance with Future Group is to keep the stores buzzing throughout the month by stocking a gamut of daily-need grocery items at low prices,“ the person said.
Future Group operates around 500 large and small supermarkets nationwide and its various formats include the Big Bazaar hypermarket chain and Central department store.

No comments: