Wadhawan to revamp supply chains

Wadhawan Food Retail (WFRPL), a closely-held unlisted company promoted by the Wadhawan group, is planning to revamp supply chain operations in its outfits in order to lower costs and achieve better margins and delivery schedules.

The group owns the Spinach convenience store chain. Fresh from its recent acquisitions, WFRPL currently manages 100 stores of Sangam Direct, a direct-to-home online grocery format it bought from Hindustan Unilever; Sab Ka Bazaar, a 42-store food and grocery chain based in the National Capital Region; S Mart, a 14-store strong Bangalore-based grocery retailer and a management contract to run Maratha Co-operative based in Maharashtra.

As part of the integration, the company will set up a uniform vendor management and combined distribution centres, which will supply products to all stores and take care of Sangam’s front end needs. Sangam has four regional distribution centre (DCs), Spinach has two DCs in Mumbai and Sab Ka Bazaar has a couple of DCs in Delhi.

WFRL has also lined up expansion plans for all the companies it has acquired. The company is planning to build the Sangam network in cities where WFRL’s outfits have a presence and later enter new territories. When Sangam was under HUL, it was restricted to Mumbai.

The company is planning to offer more FMCG products and services under the Sangam platform. It is also planning to set up a desk for institutions so that they can order products online.

Wadhawan said the company was planning to invest Rs 1,500 crore to open nearly 1,400 stores in the next 4 years. Spinach has stores under Local, Super and Express formats. He said the company was looking at various options such as specialty stores, cash-and-carry outlets and so on. The company was planning to set up 30 hypermarkets in a couple of years and the first one would be up by mid-2008.

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