Home Economy Trent inks franchise pact with Britain’s largest retailer

Trent inks franchise pact with Britain’s largest retailer


Mumbai : Trent, the retail arm of the Tata Group, has entered into a franchise agreement with Tesco PLC, Britain’s largest retailer, it was announced here Tuesday.

Under the franchise agreement, Trent will get access to Tesco’s retail expertise, technical capabilities, IT systems, business processes and functions which will boost its hypermarket business, Star Bazaar.

Star Bazaar is presently operating two stores in Mumbai and one each in Ahmedabad and Bangalore with plans to launch 50 more stores all over the country in the next five years.

Following the agreement, Trent will also source merchandise for Star Bazaar from Tesco’s proposed 60 million pounds (Rs.4.8 billion) wholesale cash-and-carry business in India.

“The franchise agreement with Tesco will enable us to access its retail expertise and help our endeavour to offer world class shopping experience to Indian customers,” said Noel N. Tata, managing director of Trent Ltd.

Tesco PLC’s chief executive officer Terry Leahy said that “having Trent Ltd as a customer of our wholesale cash-and-carry business will enable us to rapidly develop supply chain infrastructure and processes that will benefit farmers, small manufacturers and other suppliers.”

Tesco, which notched up sales of 51.8 billion Pounds (Rs.4.1 trillion) till February 2008, already sources over 170 million pounds (Rs.13.6 billion) worth of Indian products each year through its sourcing offices in New Delhi, Bangalore and Tirupur in Tamil Nadu.

It has employed nearly 3,000 Indian staff at its Hindustan Service Centre, Bangalore, providing information technology, financial and business services to the entire Tesco Group.

Worldwide, Tesco has 3,729 stores, employing over 440,000 people in 13 countries.

Tata Group commenced retail operations in 1998 with the Westside brand and entered the hypermarket business in 2004 with Star Bazaar.