Samir Modi to open 10,000 24Seven stores in 5 years; tests cashier-less check out
Samir Modi launched 24Seven retail stores in 2005 as India’s first convenience store chain that stays open round the clock. These stores offer Indian consumers a completely international shopping experience with a wide range of products from ready-to-eat food, beverages, groceries provisions, various convenient services and a lot more 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When Modi launched 24Seven, he marketed them as a one-stop shop for all daily and general necessities of the modern-day double-income family.
Talking about the journey of the brand, Modi says, “It has not been a smooth journey. We had to struggle a lot running a convenience store business in India which runs 24×7. We had to modify our retail strategies many times. In fact, we had to shut the business for over a year.”
However, the scenario changed in March 2017, when the government permitted shops to stay open round-the-clock. Sharing the secret of his brand’s survival and eventual success, Modi states, “Running a convenience store business is not as easy as running a supermarket or a bakery business. It requires a different skill set and different assortment of products to run it successfully.”
The company initially tied up with Indian Oil to open stores at their petrol stations, creating a fast turnaround service culture. Today, the brand has total 85 stores, including standalone stores, across Delhi and Chandigarh.
International Look & Feel
In early 2017, the retail chain initiated the process of revamping the brand by introducing a new logo and a new tagline, along with changing the entire look and feel of the stores, which included digital screens, focused lighting and peppy music.
Explaining the need for change, Modi says, “I wanted consumers to enjoy the overall shopping experience and we tried to enhance it by improving their overall interaction inside the store. Almost all of our stores have been revamped and going forward, we will be opening stores based on this new format.”
Apart from digitisation, the store size of the revamped outlets have also changed. Earlier, the average size of store used to 1,000 sq. ft, whereas, the new stores span around 1,500 sq.ft.
Innovation – The Key to Success
The brand, that boasts of 2,000-3,500 SKUs, is planning to install gizmos to digitise the stores further.
“We are going more digital. Going further, we will be increasing spends on digital marketing. Apart from this introducing interactive racks, 3D imaging and tech-based training is on the cards,” reveals Modi.
He further adds, “I am in the exploration stage of introducing cashless-checkout. We are also testing recycling machine, where customers can trash their bottles with bar-code and can get a coupon which they can spend on the spot.”
LDC screens, bar-code reading screens, digital bar-codes, self-service and food vending machine are some of the other tech-based innovations that the brand is introducing.
Not just digital innovations, the brand is also looking forward to expanding its retail presence. By this fiscal end, Modi aims to open 130 24Seven stores.
“We are planning to spend over Rs 100 crore to open 130 stores. Over the next five years, our target is to open 10,000 stores all across India,” states Modi.
“Starting next fiscal, we will be exploring new cities like Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru,” he adds.
At present, all 24Seven stores are company-owned, but from next fiscal onwards, the brand is planning to franchise the stores. The first franchise store will be opening in Delhi.
“We will be opening company-owned stores first when we enter any new city, but slowly and gradually, after understanding the market, we will be getting into a franchise-based model,” reveals Modi.
Along with this, the brand is also looking forward to expanding the product category by offering more ready-to-eat food options and services. 24Seven in Gurugram has recently received an alcohol license for the Gurugram outlet from where customers can buy whiskey, vodka, gin and single malt.
“We are trying to make the lives of our customers easier by bringing in many service-based product lines like mobile phones, cash cards, stamps, xerox machines, passing service as well,” says Modi.
“We are also introducing shawarma machines and a new bakery from where customers can buy fresh croissants and fresh bread,” he concludes.