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Essar's MobileStore buys X-Cite

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Aims to save time in entering infotech retail

The MobileStore, the Esaar group’s mobile phone retail chain, has announced the acquisition of the operations of Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

The move is expected to help the company enter the Rs 80,000-crore consumer durable and infotech retail market. Impact Retail, a franchisee of the Al Ghanim group from Kuwait, ran its business under the brand X-Cite.

The will take over all the seven stores of in cities such as Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Hyderabad. “If we were to build the consumer durable and infotech retail market business on our own, it would have taken us at least two years to reach where X-Cite is today. We are coming out of recession; real estate prices and employee costs have softened. Hence, we thought it was the right time to acquire a company,” said Rajiv Agarwal, CEO and director of The MobileStore.

The company will leverage its own network of 1,300 stores, said a company statement. It is also setting up stores in cities such as Mumbai, Kolkota and Chennai, where X-cite is not present. All the new and old stores will be branded as The MobileStore.

The MobileStore expected 15-20 per cent of its overall revenues to come from the consumer durable and infotech retail market business in three years, a company executive said. Revenue for the current year is projected at about Rs 1,500 crore. This would include sales from the consumer durable and infotech retail market business.

The MobileStore would differentiate itself from other retailers in the segment by providing a superior in-store customer service, offering differentiated service products, better consumer offers and leveraging existing customer base, a release from the company said. It plans to have 2,500 stores by March 2012. The fragmented consumer durable market is dominated by small stores across the country, though large retailers such as Tata’s Croma, Reliance Industries’ Reliance Digital, Future Group’s and Electronic Bazaar, among others, have entered the market over the past four years.

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