From 284 supermarkets, Avenue Supermarts Ltd. might expand the chain, noted for its low pricing on everything from lentils to laundry detergent, to 1,500 supermarkets.
In order to increase market share and compete with aggressive expansion from companies like Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail Ltd., Indian billionaire Radhakishan Damani’s discount grocery chain, DMart, aims to more than double the number of its stores.
Avenue Supermarts Ltd., which currently runs the fourth-largest number of convenience stores in India, could scale up the chain known for its knockdown prices on everything from lentils to laundry powder to 1,500 supermarkets from 284, Chief Executive Officer Neville Noronha said in an interview. He declined to give a timeline or estimate the investment needed.
“Large players can happily operate without worrying about each other,” Noronha said. “There’s no need to worry about that for another 20 years — the headroom for growth is awesome.”
The company opened its highest-ever 50 stores in the year through March, its most ever, and wants to tap India’s teeming middle-class, which according to some researchers could account for as much as half of country’s almost 1.4 billion population. Amid rising inflation, this segment is also looking hard for bargain deals – something DMart is known for. Besides adding stores, DMart is also attempting to scale up its unprofitable e-commerce business.
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“The sky’s the limit for any brick-and-mortar retailer in the country,” Noronha said. “You have to focus on opening more and more stores” as the organized grocery market in India was nowhere near saturation, he said.
Damani, the 68-year-old self-made billionaire and founder of DMart who steered his supermarket empire to a blockbuster listing in 2017. The stock has jumped 1,370% since its listing, giving Damani a net worth of $22.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.