The Pantaloon Chain

This article we want to outline working of a larger retail chain in India and selected Pantaloon for the purpose. Pantaloon is one of the largest retail chains in India. The chain belongs to Pantaloon Retail India Ltd (PRIL) which owns the Pantaloon brand and manufactured and markets Pantaloon brands apparels.

PRIL’s promoters, the Biyani family, have been in the textiles and garments business since 1960s.
PRIL has two formats:
Departments store chain (present format)
Hyper market chain (emerging one)

The existing face – the department store chain:

Till now, PRIL has been basically a department store chain. Those in fact are the major difference between PRIL and other large retail chains in the country. While the others are mega store chains, or food retail chains, PRIL currently is a department store chain. PRIL has in its fold a dozen located in cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur, Calcutta, Thane and Pune. In addition it has compact stores in 40 smaller towns spread the length of the country.

The second major difference PRIL and other chains is that while the others tail all brands available in the market, PRIL is essentially a private label retailer it markets mainly its own proprietary brands.

IT can be said that PRIL has organized itself on the lines of Marks and Spencer of the UK.

Though confining to private label restricts the choice for the consumer, and hence restricts the business scope, PRIL finds it easier to survive by being a private retailer. By marketing its own private brands/products, PRIL is able to gather better margins at the retailing end and also able to enjoy a better supply chain.

PRIL’s portfolio of brands includes Pantaloon in trousers. John Miller in Shirts, bare in Jeans and casuals and Shristi in ethnic women’s wear.

PRIL basically to attract customers on the plank of affordable prices. By the same token, it does not try to be an up-market, lifestyle chain.

PRIL has liberally and purposefully invested in systems and technology. It has developed an effective point of sale system and technology. It has developed an effective point of sale system and of has integrated into its ERP software. The software helps PRIL to accurately forecast the sales. It helps the company to predict the discounts to be offered for clearing stocks by a certain date.

PRIIL believe that good merchandising is the key to successful retailing. And, it has voted for category management (CM) in its merchandising.

The basic idea in CM is to create products across the length and breadth of a category at different price point fabrics, design, shapes, seasons, colors and sizes, without emphasizing particular brands.

The system works as follows:

Being a department store chain, PRIL’s operation revolve around the department Men’s wear constitutes the major department. Each department is divided into a few sub-departments. Men’s wear, for example is divided into two sub-departments: formal wear and casual wear. Each sub-department is divided into various categories. For example formal wear has two categories –shirts and trousers

Currently, on the whole, PRIL deals with 12 categories. It has appointed category managers for each of the categories the division being primarily on the basis of aspects like stripes, checks, etc each sub-category is further divided into classes, based on fabrics. Each class is further sub-dividend into sub classes, which deals with styles, distinguished sleeve and collar style.

And, it is based on style that the final SKU s arrived at. A typical Pantaloon store deals with as much as 17,000 different SKUs at point of time.

PRIL has organized its CM with help of Baan Software.

PRIL has an edge in terms of faster response times, lower inventories, and quicker cycle time turnarounds

For the future, PRIL is keen to grab a share of the global retail pie. It is working on plans for making Pantaloon into a place, where the whole world shops for value.

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