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Dabur to expand retail chain NewU, launch e-portal

Subsidiary H&B stores plans to open 30 new stores in the next 12 months

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Consumer goods firm, Dabur India Ltd is expanding reach of its 'NewU' retail chain through an online portal to cater to a larger consumer base apart from opening more stores across the country.

The company's subsidiary, H&B Stores Ltd that currently operates 44 'NewU' stores with a majority of them in the NCR region and Bangalore, is planning to open 30 new stores in the next twelve months.

"We are ready with an online platform for NewU and it is in testing phase at the moment. In June, we will launch the e-portal," H&B stores Chief Operating Officer Parikshit Sharma said.

Last year, Dabur had launched a dedicated online shopping portal for its beauty products range, that primarily sells the 'Uveda' range of skincare products.

He said in the physical retail space, the company plans to open 30 new stores in the next one year to sell multi-brand products like cosmetics, fragrances, herbal care, beauty implements and accessories, gifts, confectionery and toiletries.

Commenting on business plans for NewU, Sharma said: "The emphasis is on profitability. This is the year of consolidation and we are targeting operational profitability for the retail venture in the next one year."

In order to drive profits faster, the company is focusing on stores in the range of 500 square feet to 750 square feet, which are smaller compared to the ones it had set up in the initial phase of the venture in 2008.

"We are also working on a lot of real estate developers on a revenue sharing basis," Sharma added.

Of the total product mix at the NewU stores, about 18% is private label items.

"We would want to increase the private label component to about 35% going ahead," he said.

The company is also setting up express and super express format stores.

"We are currently holding talks with a few parties to set up super express format stores of around 250 square feet size at domestic airports," he added.

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