Pantaloon’s Biyani Says Retailer Is Sticking to Expansion Plans

Kishore Biyani, managing director of Pantaloon Retail India Ltd. (PF), the nation’s biggest publicly traded retailer, comments on the impact of economic slowdown.

Biyani spoke to reporters in Mumbai today.

The Indian economy is forecast to grow at about 7 percent in the 12 months ending March 31, the slowest in about six years. The growth rate may be revised next month, according to the central bank.

On economic slowdown:

“We are still sticking to our expansion plans. There are some delays in terms of mall developers. Besides that, we are on track.

“There’s been some slowdown in new home sales. That is impacting categories that go into new homes.

“One has to reduce cost.

“The good part is that demand is still stable.

“Once you collaborate, you can bring down costs: supply- chain costs, people cost, rental cost. Every cost is coming down, and that’s the fortunate part.”

On new recruitments:

“We have to employ more for new stores and some new positions are getting created. We are not firing anyone. Hiring is slow.

“We are hiring 500 to 600 people a month for our new stores. This will continue as we open more new stores.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sumit Sharma in Mumbai at sumitsharma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net

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