Big Bazaar

Big Bazaar: This hypermarket chain was introduced in India by Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited. The year was 2001. The first store opened in Kolkata and was followed by stores in Hyderabad and Bangalore, in a short span of 22 days. These stores contributed over Rs 43 crores to the company’s turnover and over Rs 2.89 crores to the PBDIT in the first year itself. In 2006-2007 more Indians discovered the value of shopping in Big Bazaar. Big Bazaar launched 27 new stores in 22 cities, covering over 1.40 million square feet. While Big Bazaar continued to expand in the large cities it also tapped consumptions potential in smaller cities like Agra, Allahabad, Coimbatore, Surat, Panipat, Palakkad, Kanpur, and Kolhapur. By May 2008, there were 89 Big Bazaars spread across various cities and towns across the country.

“Jo bazaar mein milta who sab yahan milta hai” is how Rakesh Biyani Director Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited describes Big Bazaar. The bazaar is a term commonly used for the market or market place. Whenever any of us need anything the simplest way to get it is to go to the bazaar. Big Bazaar represents a location where a customer can shop for anything that he needs for which he would normally visit a bazaar or the markets.

Retail in India is still at a nascent stage. This case study has been prepared as a basis for discussions, on evolving formats suitable for India.

Company background

Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited was incorporated as Manz Wear Private Limited in the year 1987. It became a public limited company in 1991 and was renamed Pantaloon Fashions (India) Limited and then Pantaloon Retail (India) limited in 1999. Over the years the company has accelerated growth through its ability to manage change. It integrated backwards into garment manufacturing and expanded its retail network at the same time. It launched three successful brands – Pantaloon trouser bar denims and John Miller shirts between 1987 and 1993.

The company introduced the concept of The Pantaloon Shoppe, an exclusive men’s wear retail store, which expanded across India from 1994-1998 . In the year 1997, Pantaloon moved to large format lifestyle retailing with the launch of Pantaloons India’s family Store. Pantaloon has grown to a 29 store network and occupies 263,000 sq ft of the retail space. They contributed Rs 174 crores to the total turnover of the company.

The management was aware that in retail, size mattered. The business revolved around volumes. Lifestyles retailing did not rally provide these volumes the volumes came from the large Indian middle class market that was waiting to be tapped. Big Bazaar – the discount store — was launched in the year 2001, to meet the aspirations of he middle class. In a short span of two years it had added a Food Bazaar and Gold Bazaar to its ranges of offerings.

Market environment

At the time of the launch of Big Bazaar there was no real precedent in the Indian market Giants the RPG hypermarkets had opened in Hyderabad only two months prior to the launch of Big Bazaar. A western model had to be adapted to suit the needs of the Indian environment various local markets and local market leaders were studied. This was done to understand the product mix and the prices offered. One of the key discount retailers studied was Sarvanna Stores in Chennai.

Saving is the key to the Indian middle class consumer. The store which would be created had to offer value to the consumer. Keeping this in mind, the concept of Big Bazaar was created.