Friday, December 20, 2013

Indian Retail Opportunity; Shipping Container Stores

PUMA, F1, Indian Retail, Idea, Innovation, StoreRecently I read about a news item that a 40 foot shipping container is being used to open the first of its kind restaurant in Kakkanad near Kochi in Kerala, India. This reminded me of the PUMA container store in Singapore, which is was an interesting Pop-Up Retail initiative by PUMA during the F1 in 2011.

Interestingly the idea of using shipping containers as temporary or permanent real estate is not new and you would have seen these in many of the construction sites of large projects. Even extending this idea to Retail is not new. Dordoy or Dordoi Bazaar in the city of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, has a large marketplace which is made up only from discarded shipping containers.
Indian Retail, Idea, Innovation, Store

These are placed 2 high in rows. The container at the top is the stocking or warehouse space while the Retail business is conducted from the container placed at ground level. This is a massive and sprawling market which has more than 5,000 container stores.

Is this not an excellent opportunity for Indian Retail?

A 40 foot container is 40 foot long, 8 foot wide and tall. This means a floor space of 320 sq. ft. which is the space that a small kirana store would have. The ceiling height at 8 feet is a bit low but can be managed if designed well. The reality is that one can purchase these easily and eBay lists these from USD 1,000 onwards to USD 5,000 for a new one. Even with the current exchange rate of 1 USD to Rs. 63, these would cost a maximum of Rs. 3,15,000 which is less than Rs. 1,000 per sq. ft. as a capital expenditure.
Indian Retail, Idea, Innovation, Store
Imagine the possibilities in the Indian context where real estate is increasingly becoming expensive and also a constraint.

Any format, especially lifestyle and specialty stores can explore this option for temporary expansion within the city during festival or promotion periods.

- Open spaces in tier 2 and 3 towns can be easily leveraged for expansion.
- As these are built for transportation, such pop-up stores can be transported to several tier 2, 3 and even smaller towns to increase penetration.
- The operating expenses for such pop-up outlets should not be high and even the capital expenditure might get be recovered fairly soon.

Definitely worth exploring!

Picture Courtesy 



Vivek said...

Very good read! Thanks for sharing your insights!

Caroline Harrington said...

Hi there, I was hoping to get permission to use your image of the Puma store for a blog post, giving you credit. Are you okay with this? Thanks!

An Indian and A Retailer said...

@Caroline Harrington - You are welcome to do so. Although the images are not mine. I have included the same and the picture courtesy links are mentioned in the the post.

Post a Comment