The last year witnessed two important policy developments in India the passage of theGST bill in the Parliament in order to bring in more transparency in the taxadministration and withdrawal of legal tender of high value currency notes ( Rs. 500 andRs. 1000) i.e. demonetisation with an intention to curb black money and running of aparallel economy & the introduction of new Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 currency notes. Witha moderate start in 2016 the economic momentum recovered towards the middle of the year.However while the growth momentum was temporarily impacted with demonetisation theIndian economy appears to be recovering and will continue as one of the fastest growingeconomies of the world. The above two actions also support the growth of organised retailindustry.
YOUR COMPANY'S PERFORMANCE
In the current year the Company has seen a softer growth of 9%. However our focus ongrowth and opportunities thereof has continued unabated. The Company has launched 7Shoppers Stop departmental stores i.e. one store each at Goa
Noida Panvel Pune Bengaluru New Delhi and Ranchi during the year under review.Further the Company has closed 2 stores with a focus to optimise profitability. We arevery positive about the times to come as we have a slew of exciting actions to bring theRomance back to Retail. We will also see our investments in Omni-channel digitization ofstores and our e-commerce push starting to bear fruit in the coming years.
Two years ago your Company had launched a project named Mission 2020' with anobjective to create the next generation Shoppers Stop that can successfully navigateacross Channels and establish us as our customers' most preferred brand & retaildestination and to make Private Brands visible like National/International Brands'.Your Company under this project is reviewing the brands within the stores from the lens ofFashionability'. The objective is to align brands within the store to match theconsumers' fashion and style expectations.
Your Company has launched a program called Personal Shopper' with an objective toprovide a great shopping experience to customers by attaching an in-store expertaccompanying customers during their visit attending to all their requirements in turnleading to increased customer satisfaction and sales.
E-commerce is probably creating the biggest revolution in the retail industry and thistrend would continue in the years to come. The Company has embarked on its Omni-channeljourney as E-commerce is expanding steadily in the country. Omni-channel initiatives ofthe Company will continue to be a key pillar of its growth strategy.
During the year under review the Company continued to expand its membership base byadding new members to its First Citizen Loyalty Program. The program now has a total FirstCitizen base of over 4.7 million members and today it is one of the largest loyaltyprograms across sectors and has contributed to 75% of your Company's sales. Your Companyalso launched Group Loyalty
Program across all formats so that customers can now earn and redeem points across allformats.
I wish to thank our Board members our Shareholders and our other stakeholders fortheir contribution and support over the years. With the strong backing of customersshareholders customer care associates and vendor partners your Company is confident thatit will go from strength to strength in the future and continue to be one of the majorplayers in the field of Indian modern retail.
Chandru L. Raheja