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May 30, 2006   

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In Mumbai, size does matter

Tomorrow, India

Livermore is a happy man. Although initially targeted at the middle and upper middle class, he says HyperCITY has managed to draw people from all sections of society. "It has generated a lot of interest among aspirational buyers mainly because of its novelty and competitive pricing."

In fact, heavy selling during the first two weeks after the store opened compelled the management to change its timings. Instead of 10 am to 10 pm, the store now shuts at 9 pm, but will return to its original timings once the staff can cope with the demand.

Set up at an investment of Rs 240 million (Rs 24 crores, excluding the price of the land), the owners initially expected to break even by the third year. "But, going by the response, we now hope to break even within 18 to 24 months," says the CEO. There are also outlets planned for Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore in about a year. "We don't want to eat into the clientele of Spencer's (the superstore adjacent to it). We believe India has an organised retail pie and there is room for everyone."

That quite a number of retail executives have moved over from Spencer's is quite another matter.

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