Friday, October 23, 2009

Nilgiris revamps to up its general trade sales

Nilgiris Dairy Farm, the Bangalore-based retail chain, is revamping its channel operations to build its general trade business volumes.

The century-old retail chain, as part of the initiative, is set to launch a new brand — Southern Days, focusing on general trade. Three months ago the company successfully migrated its general trade volumes of bread to a new brand: Southern Days. It will soon expand it’s general trade portfolio to include ‘namkeens’, cookies and a host of stuff within the next few months all under the new general trade brand ‘Southern Days - From the House of Nilgiris’.

Ashish Khera, VP - general trade & private labels, Nilgiris said this is part of the chain’s concerted efforts to eliminate channel conflict and provide the company a platform to aggressively build its general trade business volumes. In due course the products under the mother brand Nilgiris will be sold only at its 100-odd Nilgiris stores.

Nilgiris Dairy, controlled by private equity fund Actis, has been consolidating its presence in the highly-competitive retail market by having a sharp focus on South India, a market in which the brand has a high recall. The company has rather successfully withstood the onslaught of pan-India retail chains, including Spencer’s, Reliance and Aditya Birla-owned More.

Industry sources indicate that Nilgiris in the recent past has closed down a few unprofitable stores and opened a clutch of new stores. It is also constantly looking to expand its footprint through the franchisee network. The company, to increase its focus on the retail chain, has also exited the hospitality business for around Rs 100 crore by selling its prime projects to Chennai-based Shabari Group.

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