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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home Town Mall - New Town - Rajarhat - Kolkata - Block by Block

Home Town Mall - New Town - Rajarhat - Kolkata

Largest city store to open in New Town

Calcutta is set to welcome its biggest retail outlet, a 200,000sq ft answer to international giants Ikea and Home Depot, at a time when a clutch of large-format shop stops have downed shutters or are on the brink of closure.

HomeTown, the “first-of-its-kind home improvement retail format in India”, will unveil its largest store this week at Bengal Shrachi’s Block by Block mall in New Town. The store will be as big as the entire Forum mall.

“We have always shared a special emotional connect with Calcutta and this HomeTown store is an affirmation of our faith in this city,” Kishore Biyani, the CEO of the Future Group, told Metro. The HomeTown chain is owned by Home Solutions (India) Ltd, a part of the Future Group.

The Rajarhat shop stop, to be inaugurated on June 20, will be the seventh in the chain after Noida, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Lucknow. The store will be divided into three sections — exhibitions, markets and services, with over 150 rooms designed and fitted out on display. It will also provide design-and-build services to customers, with a team of designers on the rolls.

The markets section will feature products for living room, dining room, bedroom, kids’ room, kitchen, bathroom, home furnishings, mattresses, eZone (consumer durables and electronics) and Depot (books, music etc). The services section will offer options such as Mr Carpenter, Mr Plumber, Mr Electrician, Mr Painter, door delivery and installation.

“This will do wonders for Rajarhat’s sagging public image, which has seen negative perception amplify in recent months over infrastructure issues. A huge destination retail address like HomeTown has the power to draw footfalls from far and wide,” said Rahul Todi, the managing director of Bengal Shrachi.

Consumers will also get professional advice on various home-related issues, ranging from interiors, carpentry, plumbing and painting to even grihapravesh puja.

Future Group is targeting revenues of Rs 1,800 crore from the chain of HomeTown stores. The Rajarhat address is twice the average size of the other outlets and is expected to generate “substantially higher” revenues than the template target of Rs 200 crore from each store.

“Such a gigantic store is an emphatic renewal of faith in Calcutta’s retail climate and will go a long way in boosting investor confidence in these troubled times. The Rajarhat HomeTown will have a large catchment area and a home-solutions format like this will always have takers, boom or bust,” said Abhijit Das of retail and property consultants Lemongrass Advisors.

Future Group is also rolling out seven large-format stores in and around the city over the next few months — four Big Bazaar outlets in Salt Lake and Lake Mall (45,000sq ft each), Sealdah (50,000sq ft), Birati (21,000sq ft), a Pantaloons store in City Centre 2 (40,000sq ft) and two outlets in Mani Square — Fashion @ Big Bazaar and Planet Sports.


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