The word hypermarket is derived from the French word hypermarche, which is a combination of a supermarket and a department store. This retail business format has evolved since its invention by retailer Carrefour in Sainte Genevieve des Bois near Paris, in the year 1963. A retail store with a sales area of over 2,500 sqm, with at least 35% of selling space devoted to non-grocery products is termed as a hypermarket. The stores occupy an area which ranges anywhere between 80,000 to 220,000 sq ft and offer a variety of food and non food products like clothes, jewelry, hardware, sports equipment, cycles, motor accessories, books, CD’s DVD’s , videos, TV’s, electrical equipment and computers and combine supermarket, discount and warehouse retailing principles.

Hyper markets are today synonymous with one stop shopping. The cheapest prices will, normally be found in these stores. Across the world hypermarkets are usually part of a retail park with other shops, cafeterias and restaurants. They almost always have their own petrol station in the site. Other facilities on the site include banks with cash machines, photo processing shops and pharmacies. A key element of differentiation between the hypermarket and the other retail formats is that they are typically destination locations. The hypermarkets are designed to attract customers from a significantly large area with their low price offers, unique range and offers.

A store that satisfies the following characteristics has been defined by the IGD as a hypermarket:

1) A selling area between 5,000 sq m and 15,000 sq m
2) A wide range of products including food and non-food items
3) Discounted prices
4) A destination offer

Key retailers who operate in this business model are Carrefour, Wal-Mart (the Wal-Mart Super centers), Meijer, Target (Super Targets), Tesco (Tesco Extra Stores) ad Asda Wal-Mart Super centers). Examples of hypermarkets in India include Giant, Big Bazaar and Star India Bazaar.

Retail Snapshot focuses Big Bazaar and Hyper city:

Big Bazaar is a combination of the western hypermarket and the chaos of the Indian Bazaar. It is a fashion led delivery format, with fashion comprising about 40 per cent of its revenues. The format is that of a hypermarket with the store size varying between 30,000 to over 100,000 sq ft. Its value proposition is “Is se sasta aur accha kahin nahin”. The stores are targeted at the spectrum of the population which has a high propensity to switch stores on the basis of price, based on the value for money principle.

The product range comprises of food and grocery items, household items, luggage white goods, electronics, cosmetics, jewelry and pharmaceuticals, that are sold at a discount. Big Bazaar has gradually introduced private labels in fashion over the last few years. Some of the private launched include – Ctee, Knighthood, DJ &C, DJ & C Sports, Shatranj, Shyla, Srishti and pink n Blue.

As of December 2007, there were 75 Big Bazaar stores across the country. The company plans to open over 60 stores across India in the FY 2008, and the opening of the 100th Big Bazaar store will mark the fastest ever expansion by a hypermarket format.

Hyper city has redefined the experience of the Indian consumer in the big store format. Its offering includes food and grocery, general merchandise and apparel. Shopper’s Stop Limited has acquired 19% share holding of Hyper City Retail (India) Ltd out of the total option of 51% available to it.

The first City store opened in Mumbai in May 2006 which is spread over 120,000 sq ft of retail space. The company plans that each Hyper City outlet will be spread over 80,000–120,000 sq ft. The target audience is the middle and the upper middle class in the Sec A cities.

The product range at Hyper city encompasses everyday foods like cereals, spices, flour, pulses, dry fruits and other products. It offers a wide and contemporary range of innovative products, sourced from both local and international markets. The product range varies from foods, home ware, home entertainment, hi-tech appliances furniture sports toys & clothing. Hyper city has an exclusive supply agreement with Waitrose, a top supermarket chain in the UK and an exclusive arrangement with Raleigh Cycles for India. The store also retails a number of private labels under the brand names of Supermia Tosca, Lauren Christopher, City Sense, City Life, City style and River Inc. As of December 2007, the company operated only one Hyper City store and the company has plans to set up another 19 stores by 2011.

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