Future group-owned Big Bazaar Direct has launched a virtual franchise programme across the country, targeting small towns. Under the plan, franchise holders will run kiosks where consumers can choose from Big Bazaarís catalogue. The franchisees can even take the catalogue to the customerís home. After placing an order, a customer will have to pay the franchise operator. Big Bazaar Direct will deliver the product in three to seven days.
Big Bazaar expects to start about 1,000 kiosks by the end of March. The company expects after a year, each store will get orders worth Rs 4-5 lakh a month. All non-food products will be shipped from Nagpur, where the group has a large backend facility. For the food category, the local supply chain will be used. Any existing or aspiring retailer can apply for a kiosk, which will come at a fee of Rs 3 lakh. Of this, a third is investment for training and tablets, another third is advance and the balance is refundable security deposit.
The commission earned from the franchise will be between 3 and 20%, depending on the product. Electronics and food items bring low margins while fashion allows for a higher margin. Earlier, the group had run pilot projects in Nagpur, Amravati and other cities the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra. The company has already launched the franchisee-based models in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Gujarat. It launched in Delhi on January 11.
The company is targeting kirana shops, medical stores, persons with consumer network, insurance agents and persons engaged in professional services like payment of bills etc, as franchisees. The involvement of shopkeepers / local people is expected to help build trust in people in the small towns. The Future Group is providing its franchisees an electronic device, which has all the information about its products and offers. Through this venture, the company would also try to expand its base in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities, where the Future group still has no retail store.