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BW Businessworld

NCR-based DJT Corp to Add 26 Stores, Hypermarkets in 12-months

DJT Corporation & Investments, owner of Deerika Hypermarkets plans to expand its store count in next twelve month to cater to growing consumer demand

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Established in 2017, DJT Corporation & Investments (DJT) has been promoting businesses in Retail, Insurance Broking, and Financial Services in the National Capital Region—New Delhi, Noida (Uttar Pradesh), and Gurugram (Haryana). From a large hypermarket chain to luxury brand retailing and omnichannel deliveries, DJT operates its hypermarket under Deerika Hypermarkets currently has one Hypermarket and three supermarkets. The plans are in motion to have 26 stores by the end of next financial year - including a couple of more hypermarkets and the rest supermarkets. 

Akash Anand, Founder & Managing Director, Deerika Hypermarkets said, "We focus on providing maximum convenience to customers and that’s our sole USP. We strive to build merchandise at Deerika in the same way as a Kirana operates because they understand customers’ specific needs more accurately."

When asked as to how many operational outlets does DJT runs in NCR? And what has been the quantum of investment as on date?

Anand said the company currently operates four stores in Gurugram—Sector 51, 57,15 and DLF Phase-3. All these stores were launched in 2020. "At this juncture, DJT Corporation is treating investments as classified information and will refrain from mentioning figures," Anand said. 

How many Kirana stores are in the network?  Anand said they have partnered with around 500 Kirana stores. "After 'Unlock 1.0', all Kirana stores gradually started returning to their normal business," he said.

Commenting on the expansion plans, Anand said: "We are on a mission to expand our footprints and have about 25 stores in the pipeline that are currently in talks with real estate consultants. In the meantime, 12 stores are already confirmed and slated to be established in the span of next 18 months."

So, by when can the company achieve a break-even for its retail business? What are the margins and discounts that you offer?

Anand said in the case of a physical store, a break-even can require a gestation period of 12-18 months. As for discounts, these have become part and parcel of the business and one of the main features of modern trade, he added. "Customers expect a discount on everything. Even as Deerika provides a discount on each product, we operate at a healthy margin of 18-19 per cent. Given the right mix as well as depending on the location, the assortment and store size, we have been able to retain a healthy margin of 4-5 per cent even in these testing times," Anand added. 

Are real estate and high rentals a significant issue, especially when the company operates in an expensive real estate market like Gurgaon, Delhi or NOIDA? "Usually, higher rentals are an issue of concern," said Anand. "But Deerika saw COVID-19 as an opportunity to negotiate for lower rentals as brands have been vacating prime locations due to steep rentals. Thanks to timely and deft negotiations, we managed to procure a reduction of about 15-20 per cent in the rentals. This comes as a huge advantage for us," he added.


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