Trent mulls mid-sized stores for Star Bazaar chain

Tata group firm Trent Ltd, which formed a venture for multi-brand retail with Tesco, is contemplating launching different formats, including mid-sized stores, for 'Star Bazaar' to achieve profitability faster.

"We are evaluating other formats. We opened a smaller format called Star Daily in Pune, a convenience store that is doing very well. We plan to launch a second such store shortly," Trent Chairman Noel Tata said in an interview to group in-house magazine 'Tata Review'.

"We believe that these mid-sized formats will reach profitability faster," he said.

Currently, Star Bazaar has 12 hypermarket stores, each spread over 40,000-80,000 square feet. Trent Hypermarket Ltd (THL) operates the Star Bazaar retail business in India.

In March, UK retailer Tesco announced the equal joint venture with Trent by picking up a 50 per cent stake in THL for about 85 million pounds.

Tesco is the first global retailer to apply for multi- brand retailing after the outgoing United Progressive Alliance government allowed 51 per cent foreign direct investment in the segment in 2012. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board approved its proposal on December 30.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is forming the new government, said in its election manifesto that it would oppose FDI in multi-brand retailing.

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