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Videocon's Digiworld to exceed Next store count this year

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Digiworld, the Videocon Group-promoted chain, plans to increase the number of its stores this year to more than those operated by Next Retail. Currently, Next Retail, another retail chain, has about 600 stores across the country, while has about 428 stores.

This year, Digiworld plans to increase the number of its stores to about 700.

Jaideep Rathore, chief operating officer, Digiworld, told Business Standard the company planned to have 1,000 stores by mid-2013. While he refused to elaborate on the difference in strategies between the two retail brands promoted by the Videocon Group, he said Digiworld had a mandate of selling at least 50 per cent of Videocon Group brands (including Sansui, Kelvinator, and Videocon) in its stores.

Launched in 2009 and re-invented in 2011, Digiworld earlier sold about 90 per cent of Videocon Group products in its outlets.

Currently, Videocon is rebranding Digiworld with a new logo. However, as of now, it is unlikely to expand Next Retail. It is learnt the Rs 1,500-crore Next Retail is trying to record better margins, not add stores.

In fact, Videocon Industries Chairman and Managing Director Venugopal Dhoot had recently said the group was in talks with several foreign parties to sell 40 per cent in Next Retail.

He had also indicated a deal was likely before Diwali.

Meanwhile, the Rs 700-crore Digiworld chain is eyeing a turnover of Rs 1,200 crore by the end of this financial year.

The chain has a mix of consumer durables and information technology (IT) & telecom products. While in category ‘A’ cities, consumer durables account for 80 per cent of its sales, with IT/telecom accounting for the remaining 20 per cent, the proportion is more tilted towards durables in smaller towns.

For the overall industry, consumer durables account for 60 per cent of sales, while IT/telecom accounts for 40 per cent in the metros.

Videocon is focused on neighbourhood stores spread over 2,000-4,000 sq ft for Digiworld. It plans to add 40-45 stores a month and is targeting revenue of Rs 2,000 crore in the next financial year.

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