Easyday

Easyday is an Indian retail brand that runs chains of consumer retail supermarkets and convenience stores. The brand is wholly owned by future group Retail[1] Future Enterprise announced its foray into retail in February 2007 and the first store was opened in Punjab in April 2008.[2] Easyday presently has 523 stores across 12 states.[3]

Easydays
TypePrivate company's subsidiary's retail chain
IndustryRetailing
Founded2008 (2008)
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India
Number of locations
about~600 (as of August 2017)
Area served
India
Ownerfuture group
Websitewww.easyday.in

Future group Industries, that owns and operate Big Bazaar, combined retail operations with Easyday in May 2015. The merger has created one of India's biggest retail chains with more than 890 stores in 246 cities in India.[4]

HistoryEdit

In 2006, Walmart initiated talks with India-based Bharti Enterprises to enter the Indian market[5] as India's restrictive commercial laws prohibited most foreign companies from setting up stores to compete with domestic retailers.[6] Subsequently, they set up an equal joint venture to float a company called Bharti Walmart Private Limited in 2007, with the intention of doing wholesale business, through Best Price Modern Wholesale stores.[7] It was decided that while Walmart would work towards back-end cash & carry supply chain for the wholesale operations of Bharti Walmart; it would also provide expertise including technology, supply chain, logistics and management support to the retail stores, Easyday, which will be run a wholly owned subsidiary of Bharti Enterprises named Bharti Retail Private Limited.[2][8] Bharti Retail was set up in April 2007 with the target an annual turnover of about $3.65 billion by 2015.[9] The major challenge for Easyday stores was the competition from small scale retailers who controlled about 97% of the Indian retail business. They organized protests against Easyday, which was supported by a section of politicians.[10] Amid a stiff resistance from the opposition political parties, the Indian government allowed 51% Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail in September 2012, which could enable Walmart to do direct retail business in India.[11]

Brand nameEdit

While deciding on naming the stores, Bharti Enterprises chose not to use the name Walmart in the brand name, even though the operations of the store largely depended on Walmart's collaboration. It was done to avoid any repercussions by the usage of a foreign brand name, keeping in view the stiff opposition against potential job and business losses caused by a foreign brand.[12] Also, Asipac Projects, a retail consultancy commented, "Walmart prefers to be not known by its brand name until it's not in 100% control in a country. In India, till the Easyday stores do not look and feel exactly like a Walmart store in the US, they would not give it the brand name."[13]

First storeEdit

On 25 April 2008, Bharti Retail made their first official entry in the retail business with the inauguration of three Easyday stores in Ludhiana, Punjab, which is the hometown of Sunil Bharti Mittal, the chairman of Bharti Enterprises.[2][14] Those stores measured 2,500 to 4,500 sq. ft.[15] The first batch of the employees at the stores were local residents, who were given training at Bharti Retail's training facility.[16][17] Bharti Retail stressed that it would employ local residents at their stores, and would also generate new employment options to vendors of fruits, vegetables and meat, as well as to housewives and retired people. "These initiatives will help facilitate inclusive growth in communities in which its stores operate," it said.[15]

ExpansionEdit

The company made plans to expand zone-wise, starting with the northern part of India.[18] By November 2008, the company had 12 stores operational and in the next month, Easyday opened its first medium-sized retail store, labelled Easyday Market, in Ludhiana, Punjab.[19]

In May 2009, Easyday opened its first store in Delhi NCR.[20] Easyday had its retail operations running in 70 stores by May 2010 in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, among others.[21]

PresenceEdit

Easyday currently operates in 15 states - West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in over 168 towns and cities. The number of stores functional is 523 [22][23] catering to about 76,000 customers every day.[23]

FormatEdit

The standard neighborhood stores are called Easyday and have their presence in over 500 locations;[23] the compact hypermarkets are termed Easyday Market, which are mid-sized stores. In addition to the merchandise sold at the regular Easyday stores, the Easyday Market stores stock a wider range of brand and product selection.

MerchandiseEdit

Easyday sells items and products of various brands keeping in mind the requirements of the local and regional needs. A typical Easyday store sells groceries including fresh produce inclusive of fruits, vegetables & milk; cereals, meat, poultry, dairy and baked products, canned goods, soups, grains, snacks, cookies, chips, condiments, beverages, sauces, spices, and candy; beauty products like toiletries, fragrances, makeup, shaving and skincare items; health care items; apparel, hosiery, shoes & accessories; books and stationary; toys; gifts; kitchen ware; home improvement products including tools, lighting, & electronic accessories; and items related to religion. Easyday has also partnered with Moneygram International that provides customers the facility of money transfer at their stores. This facility was initially launched at 121 stores in May 2011.[24]

Private BrandsEdit

Though Easyday sells merchandise manufactured by several different companies. Bharti Walmart said in an interview, "Customers have begun to like private labels due to better quality, high food safety standards, international look and feel of products, customized packaging created after customer feedback and the credibility of the retailer."[25]

  • Great Value: The brand Great Value is Walmart's international brand, and it locally sells a range of everyday-use products like flour, staples, cereals, spices, tea, cold beverages, sodas, jams, ketchups, dry fruits, corn flakes, Indian snacks, dish-wash bars, detergents, toilet cleaners, and floor & glass cleaners[26][27] These products are typically sold at a lower price because of minimal marketing and advertising expense. As a house or generic brand, the Great Value line does not consist of goods produced by Bharti Walmart, but is a labeling system for items manufactured and packaged by a number of agricultural and food corporations.
  • Easy Choice: The brand Easy Choice operates on the same lines as Great Value, also catering to the FMCG range, sourcing products from Bharti Walmart, but the items are usually a further little cheaper as compared to Great Value products.
  • Mainstays: It is Walmart's another international brand for basic home essentials, catering to kitchen & bathroom accessories, bed linen, cushion covers, towels, plastics, lighting, and stationary.[27][28][29]
  • Equate: [29]
  • George: George is a western apparel brand that began as British supermarket chain, Asda Stores Limited's, private clothing range, and later moved to Walmart's US and Canadian stores.[27][28]
  • Astiva: It is Bharti Walmart's regional brand dealing with ethnic Indian wear,[27] such as kurtas, kurtis, salwar kameez, and ready to stitch fabric.[29]
  • Simply Basic: It is a brand designed to cater to everyday wear and clothing needs.[29]
  • Home Trends: This brand caters to home furnishings & decor,[27] kitchen tools, crockery, cookware, table ware and glassware.[29]
  • Kid Connection: It is a specialized brand dealing with toys, children's clothing and other items for children.[27][28]
  • Faded Glory: This brand provides footwear[28]
  • Athletic Works: It is a fitness & sports brand that deals with athletic shoes, work-out equipment, gym goods and fitness merchandise.[27][28]

Corruption allegationsEdit

  • In September 2012, an Indian politician, MP Achuthan, leveled charges that Walmart invested $100 million of convertible debentures in 2010 in Bharti Retail for Easyday stores, even though, in 2010 the Indian government did not allow any foreign investments in multi-brand retail. Easyday was accused of having received illegal investments in violation of India’s FDI laws and the Indian government started an investigation.[30] This also led to in internal probe by Walmart into possible violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribery outside of the US. Bharti Walmart suspended several senior executives as part of an internal bribery investigation.[31]
  • In December 2012, reports emerged indicating that Walmart had spent $25 million over four years to lobby the US government to gain access to overseas markets including India.[32] The same month, the Indian government approved an inquiry into Walmart's lobbying activities in the US amid a heated debate in India over Walmart's plans to open retail stores in India.[33]

ControversiesEdit

In January 2013, a fifteen-year-old girl was forced to strip naked at an Easyday store location at Mallhar Mega Mall, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, as she was accused of shop-lifting and the security team wanted to search her.[34][35] The girl, who is a junior national level table tennis player, was found innocent, though the store staff allegedly misbehaved with her[34] and she had to undergo mental torture.[35] Her mother, Chapla Kumar Bhargawa,[35] who got extremely outraged at this incident, filed a complaint with the police. The authorities registered a case against three store employees, including the woman who strip-searched her in a private room. Her mother said, "How can you force someone to undress? The act cannot be justified."[34] The victim's mother later also registered a complaint against the uncooperative behavior of Indore Police officer - Inspector-general of police, Anuradha Shankar,[35] who reportedly asked inappropriate questions like "Are your intentions of blackmailing the store owner?"[35] Easyday, meanwhile, expressed its concern and said, "We deeply regret the inconvenience caused to our customer at our Indore store. We are investigating the case for appropriate action."[34] The Madhya Pradesh Table Tennis Association condemned the incident and called it "very unfortunate.",[36] the particular store is closed now.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bharti Retail merges with Future Retail".
  2. ^ a b c Bailay, Rasul (16 April 2008). "Bharti makes low-key retail entry with Easy Day stores in Ludhiana". Live Mint & The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  3. ^ "About Us > Overview" (PDF).
  4. ^ Future Group, Bharti Retail combine retail business to create one of India's biggest chains -ToI 05.05.2015
  5. ^ "Wal-Mart to open retail stores in India in partnership with local company". USA Today/AP. 27 November 2006. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  6. ^ Lakshman, Nandini (15 May 2009). "Why Wal-Mart's First India Store Isn't a Wal-Mart". Time Inc. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  7. ^ Damodaran, Harish (27 January 2011). "Multi-brand retail FDI won't hit small shops: Wal-Mart". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  8. ^ The Indian Express. 4 January 2007 http://www.financialexpress.com/news/new-beginning/188747/0. Retrieved 26 November 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Bharti to ink deal with WalMart for retail ops by April-end". Moneycontrol.com/ e-Eighteen.com Ltd. 11 April 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  10. ^ David, Ruth (7 August 2007). "Wal-Mart Inks Deal To Enter India". Forbes. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  11. ^ "51% FDI in multi-brand retail approved as govt pushes major reforms agenda". The Indian Express. Agencies. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  12. ^ Raj, Rishi (21 February 2008). "Bharti Retail could drop Wal-Mart tag". The Financial Express/© 2012: The Indian Express Limited.
  13. ^ Sharma, Samidha (26 November 2011). "Walmart may not operate under its brand name". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Bharti launches 'EasyDay'". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  15. ^ a b "India's Bharti Retail opens convenience stores". Reuters. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  16. ^ Jacobs, Kevin (17 April 2008). "INDIA: Bharti opens first convenience store". Just-food. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  17. ^ "Shops, markets close nationwide to oppose FDI in multi-brand retail". The Economic Times. ET Bureau. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  18. ^ Roy, Kumar Shankar (11 December 2009). "Bharti Retail aims to add 130 shops in next 12 months". Financial Chronicle. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Bharti to launch medium-sized retail store next month". NEWS TRACK India/IANS. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  20. ^ Joshi, Sandeep (30 May 2009). "Bharti Retail enters Delhi". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  21. ^ Kamath, Raghavendra. "Bharti Retail to enter south soon; looks at west too". afaqs!/ Business Standard. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  22. ^ Puri, Pranav (29 May 2013). "Walmart To Buy 49% Stake In Cedar Support". Deal Curry/EagleEye Research & Media Pvt. Ltd. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  23. ^ a b c Easyday pamphlet on 4, 13 Feb lists cities as 110 instead of 100. "Our Stores > easyday". Bharti Retail © 2011. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  24. ^ "Bharti Walmart, Bharti Retail tie up with MoneyGram Intl". Financial Chronicle/PTI. 24 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  25. ^ Malviya, Sagar (6 February 2012). "Private labels owned by retailers such as Bharti Retail, Future Group outsell national brands in own stores". The Economic Times. ET. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  26. ^ "Bharti Walmart launches Great Value range of beverages". Company Brief. afaqs!. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g "Walmart to source locally in India to keep front-end retail prices low by 10%-15%". Blog at WordPress.com. Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  28. ^ a b c d e Choudhary, Sanjeev (9 September 2009). "Wal-Mart pvt labels in Bharti stores". The Economic Times. ET. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  29. ^ a b c d e "Suppliers > Our Private Brands". Bharti Walmart. Archived from the original on 15 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  30. ^ Sarma, Shukti (25 November 2012). "Wal-Mart suspends India officials". RetailDigital/WDM Group. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  31. ^ Bajaj, Vikas (23 November 2012). "India Unit of Wal-Mart Suspends Employees". The New York Times. p. B1. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  32. ^ McCarthy, Julie. "Wal-Mart's Lobbying In U.S. To Be Probed By Indian Government". 88.9 KETR. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  33. ^ Pasricha, Anjana (14 December 2012). "Walmart Caught In Lobbying Controversy in India". VOAnews. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  34. ^ a b c d "Girl asked to strip at Easyday, complaint filed". The Times of India. TNN. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  35. ^ a b c d e "Strip search row: TT player's mother lodges complaint against lady IGP". Dailybhaskar.com. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  36. ^ "Three persons arrested for frisking teen at mall". NDTV Convergence Limited 2013/PTI. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.

External linksEdit