How it started
A traditional Convenience Store chain that puts service and quality first…
Arambagh’s Foodmart' is a neighbourhood supermarket - a unique format that positions itself between the neighborhood kirana store and the supermarket, offering a modern ambience and attractive promotions. The chain of convenience retail stores was started in the year 2000, following the concept of the international ‘7-11’ chain. The first foodmart was converted from the existing ‘Arambagh’s Chicken’ chain of stores selling processed and ready-to-eat chicken items. With USPs of good quality, attractive promotions and location convenience, Arambagh’s Foodmart was a quick success.
A small format no-frills food and grocery store of average 600-1000 sft area, the chain has now expanded to 77 shops in West Bengal, out of which 40 are in Kolkata, 26 in other tier II cities and 11 in North Bengal including Siliguri and Jalpaiguri. The shops sell fast moving consumer goods like grocery, toiletry, confectionery, frozen products and stationery.
How it creates value
Contrary to the belief that shopping is an experience that retailers offer – Arambagh’s has promoted just the convenience of grocery shopping.
Owing to changing demographics with increase in the number of nuclear families, working couples and elderly couples living alone – who do not want to, or cannot go out grocery shopping – USPs are developed more in the line of convenience or ‘Value for Time’ along with Value for Money. Convenience is provided in terms of location of store (near markets/on the main road with parking space), quick checkout, free home delivery for any order amount and telephonic order acceptance. Value for money is provided through exclusive promotions every month rather than price cuts. Instead of loyalty cards, the Company believes in creating loyal base of customer through such services, convenience and instant gratifications like a free item on higher bill value.
The carefully chosen USPs include-
- Service Level
- Quick reach
- Quick checkout
- Telephonic order
- Free home delivery for any bill amount
- No-frill merchandising
- Multiple payment option
- Product Level
- Free items on every bill over 2000/-
- Attractive promotions all year
- Optimum product selection to include daily need items
- Best quality private label of groceries
Arambagh’s Foodmart is present in 22 cities only in West Bengal. It was quick to identify the potential of Tier II and Tier III cities where residents were affluent and ready to spendfor a quality lifestyle. While everyone thought retail in smaller cities is all about discounting, Arambagh’s took the first bold step to enter these cities with its value proposition of service and quality.
There are 40 stores only in Kolkata.
Expansion to North Bengal was a key milestone, where the concept of organized grocery retail was new. Customers had to be educated to expect good quality and service and not just price off. Over the last few years, with the addition of more stores, the North Bengal unit has expanded fast.
During the pandemic, the entire team worked together as equals, forgetting roles or seniority. They fought to get employees back from homes, keep stores open, and keep supplies steady. Outstation employees were ousted from their mess by neighbors - local employees opened their doors to them. Senior employees brought home-cooked food to store employees when they worked long hours and had no place to eat at. Customers brought them food and water, sometimes sharing their own food when they went to deliver at their homes. Company cars and accommodation were provided even for vendors’ and service providers’ employees when required. Customers, employees, vendors, partners – all stood together like one single family.
Despite more than half of the stores remaining closed and sales plummeting, not one job was cut, not once was salary delayed.
Bonus, increments, incentives were willingly foregone. No one left the company
The family-run business continues to be a big family yet professionally run. Most of the employees hail from a rural background, and most of them have grown in the organization from the junior-most level, reaching leadership positions. Many specially abled persons and women from abusive homes and needy families work here. Recently the company has been looking into hiring socially marginalized people such as transgenders and people with symptoms of ASD.
The trust that the brand inculcates today amongst its customers and employees is its greatest asset. The employees remain faithful to the Company, believing in its vision of creating jobs, creating efficient processes, and creating smart professionals out of people from a most ordinary background, and most importantly – being a part of one big family.