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Nov 2, 2009

Kannan Departmental Stores on expansion


As the texcity is warming up to the opening of two big malls - Fun Republic and Brookfield Plaza by early 2010, the home grown leading retail chain, Shri Kannan Departmental Stores is quietly expanding its network in the Kongu region. It also plans to enter Chennai after a year.

The chain, which clocked a turnover of Rs 290 in 2008-09, recently ventured out of the region to open its first store in Madurai. Now, it has 25 stores, mostly in Coimbatore and Erode and the remaining in smaller cities including Salem, Karur and Tirupur.After Madurai, the next stop for Shri Kannan will be Tiruchi. "We are on an expansion spree and will open one new store every month," Shri Kannan Departmental Stores chairman T Thanushgaran told ET. He said, the retail chain would reach Chennai by 2011 and is planning not less than 20 stores in the state capital.

He said currently the company is reorganising its business and accounting structure. "Like big retailers, we also want to go public and turn this company into a top player in Indian retail market," he added.With big plans on hand, , Mr Thanushgaran, who started the first store in Erode in 1985, is banking on his marketing strategy to grow the retail business. "Costing matters, but when you do bulk business even a small margin will bring profit," he said.

Right from groceries, cosmetics, electronics, stationery items, furniture, clothing to medicines, Shri Kannan is a one-stop-shop for customers. It also sells seasonal products like fire-crackers.
"Apart from opening new stores, we keep increasing our product portfolio. We also manufacture products in-house and sell under our own brand – Shri Kannan," he said. The company is targeting a turnover of Rs 360 crore and Rs 400 crore this fiscal.

The company has a large R&D team to scout for innovative products and also cost-effective sources for direct purchase of different goods. The chain also has its distribution centres at strategic locations. "The business will be viable only when there is easy facilitation of goods transport, because the stores need to be kept well-stocked," he said.Shri Kannan recently ventured into bulk retail under which huge discounts are offered for those buying in large quantities. It opened a wholesaleBazaar in Singanallur to cater to institutional clients like educational institutions, hospitals, offices and small businesses.

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