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Pantaloon earmarks Rs 900 crore for real estate over 3 years

New Delhi, The Economic Times

August 26, 2011


Leading retailer Pantaloon Retail India Ltd (PRIL) has earmarked a Rs 900 crore expenditure over the next three years on nine million square feet of retail space, which it has already booked across India for expansion.

The Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group firm is looking to insulate itself from a possible space crunch situation in the likelihood of multinational firms expanding their footprint into the Indian retail sector once FDI in multi-brand is allowed.

"Supply of fresh quality real estate space within large Indian metropolises is increasingly becoming scarcer. The demand for this space is also expected to increase significantly in the near future as more retail companies vie for this space," PRIL said in an investor document.

Envisaging the future scenario, the company went ahead with an aggressive strategy of securing quality real estate for its future expansion plans and has booked over nine million square feet of retail space, it added.

According to sources, the company has set aside Rs 800-900 crore for the purpose.

"The company believes in maintaining its high growth momentum and leadership position over the next few years and hence, intends to aggressively continue its retail expansion strategy," PRIL said.

At a time when the world is facing economic uncertainties and markets are down, real estate projects in India are likely to get delayed, a source said.

"Moreover, if FDI in multi-brand retail is opened up soon, there will be a rush of international retail chains who would want to open shops in India," the source added.

Almost 60 per cent of the total retail space that has been identified and booked by PRIL will be used to set up Big Bazaar stores.

The company not only plans to expand its reach across formats in existing cities, but is also eyeing an entry into other cities in the country.

In September itself, PRIL will open its first stores in Madurai, Patiala and Bhatinda.

At present, Future Group operates over 1,000 retail stores across formats, including Big Bazaar, Pantaloon, Central, eZone, HomeTown and KB Fair Price, spread across more than 15 million square feet of retail space.