Shoppers Stop is looking to be debt-free by 2018-19, so that it could focus more aggressively on strategies such as ramping up contribution from its private labels to 15 per cent of inclusive revenue and expanding its footprint in the fast-growing beauty and cosmetics segment. While its omni-channel policy will fall into place by May, boosted by its 5 per cent equity stake sale to Amazon’s investment arm last September, it is the private label assortments and prices that Shoppers Stop is looking at tweaking immediately.

At the end of December 2017 Shoppers Stop saw a debt of Rs 237 crore. The company expects that to fall further to around Rs40-50 crore by end-March. Soppers Stop managing director Govind Shrikhande says in 2018-19, the company’s debt-to-equity ratio will either become zero or turn positive. Revenue contribution from its private brands was around 9 per cent in the second fiscal quarter, the lowest share ever recorded.

Over the coming year, the company plans to open at least a dozen more of these specialty stores, with MAC leading the way and driving overall growth within the category. Shoppers Stop is one of the best run retail companies and envisaged to reap benefits of its expansion strategy. The company has maintained momentum in its retail space expansion even amidst slowdown, which will help future growth.

 

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