DMart has converted two of its retail stores in Mumbai into fulfilment centers to meet the growing demand for e-commerce business. Avenue Supermarts Ltd, the operator of the supermarket chain, had opened six new outlets during the July-September quarter this fiscal.
Neville Noronha, Avenue Supermarts CEO & Managing Director, confirmed that they have closed two of their Mumbai stores, in Mira Road and Kalyan, for customers and converted them into fulfilment centers for their e-commerce business. He said the locations have an alternate DMart store within four kilometers. “We continue to increase our footprint in Mumbai Metropolitan Region covering additional pin codes. Mira Road and Kalyan FC addition were to deepen our reach and serve customers better in these regions,” Noronha shared. “We have also expanded our E-Commerce operations in select pin codes of Pune City.”
The executive disclosed that their footfalls are getting better and basket values are reducing month over month. He shared that within the continued uncertainty from COVID-19, their business has seen improvement and continues to gradually progress towards pre-COVID levels. “Month-on-month sales have improved during this quarter. August was better than July, and September was better than August,” Noronha said. However, the footfalls continue to be significantly lower than pre-COVID levels, but basket levels are significantly higher than pre-COVID levels. Last week, DMart reported a 38.46 per cent decline in its profit after tax to Rs 198.53 crore in the July-September quarter as against Rs 322.63 crore of the corresponding quarter last fiscal.
Noronha said their stores, two years and older, did 87.5 per cent of September 2019 sales in the month of Septmeber 2020. “We have a total of 158 stores which are two years or older. Since August, most of our stores are operating at pre-COVID operating hours and some stores are operating longer hours than before COVID-19,” he said.