Armchair shopping

Armchair shopping

A HyperCITY-Argos JV attempts to revive catalogue shopping.

Andrew Levermore: Go get that catalogue
Andrew Levermore
Catalogue shopping isn’t exactly new—a company called Burlingtons pioneered the concept in India in the early nineties. It didn’t exactly set the Ganges on fire, and perhaps the absence of a consumerist culture would have something to do with that. Now, organised retailing and catalogue shopping have come together with Argos, the £4.2-billion company belonging to Home Retail Group of the UK, jointly venturing with the K. Raheja Group’s HyperCITY. The new joint venture is called HyperCITY Argos.

Andrew Levermore, CEO, HyperCITY Retail (India), points out that the reason for this foray is to provide consumers more choice. “We’re talking about over 4,000 products available to you in the catalogue and also available to you on the internet for web-shopping. Nobody has tried it with this kind of conviction and varied choice before,” he says.

Furthermore, Levermore reminds us that the Indian consumer has actually been shopping from home for decades already. “Ever since the telephone has been around, the Indian consumer has been ordering things from his kirana almost on a daily basis.

Now, this doesn’t happen in any other country in the world, so that’s the first reason why we think it will work.” Also, considering that Indian consumers like to make large-ticket purchase decisions as a family, they now have a perfect vehicle to do so—a catalogue on the coffee-table at home.

Deepti Khanna Bose