Kerala Consumerfed goes hi-tech to take on retail biggies

The agency has decided to start accepting bulk booking of Onam kits in Thiruvananthapuram before starting full-fledged online sales.

Published: 07th June 2017 02:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2017 02:39 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: To compete with leading retailers like Aditya Birla’s More and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail in the state, the Kerala government-run Consumerfed is launching sales online and through telephone orders from this Onam season in September. For the time being, the Consumerfed will not provide home-delivery services, its chairman M Mehaboob told ‘Express’.

On a pilot basis, Consumerfed has decided to start accepting bulk booking of Onam kits at Thiruvananthapuram before starting full-fledged online sales across the state, he said. Mehaboob said competition necessitated its decision to enter online services.

“Thiruvananthapuram was selected as there are several employees’ associations and residents’ associations which procure Onam kits in bulk,” he said.

After making a booking online or on the phone, people can get their kit delivered quickly via Triveni outlets.

“Our customers won’t have to waste time at Triveni outlets to select the goods. If the pilot programme turns successful, we will adopt online sales across the state,” he said.

Consumerfed managing director M Ramanunny said the agency has readied a portal for online booking of the Onam kit. With the payment to be made at the respective stores, Consumerfed has installed POS machines supported by the IDBI Bank in its outlets. The agency is also working on a mobile app-based goods retailing project. Once the project is implemented, it can provide goods at the consumers’ doorsteps through delivery boys.

“But the project is in the initial stage. While discussions to create the mobile app were held, it will take some time to realise the project,” he said.

For the first time since 2009, Consumerfed posted a profit in the last fiscal. To make Triveni outlets more profitable, the agency is in discussion with various district administrations to supply office goods at Collectorates and government offices in each district.

“If space is provided at Collectorates, Consumerfed can directly provide books, papers, pens and other equipment to offices there at low cost. We will also take this project up with other government offices in the state,” Mehaboob said.

Consumerfed will also provide Ramzan special kits comprising 17 food preparation goods and costing around Rs 1,000 each. People can directly procure these kits from Triveni outlets.

Regional office to  house premium liquor outlet

Tipplers in Thiruvananthapuram have something to cheer about as Consumerfed has decided to convert its three-storey regional office building into a modern premium liquor outlet. During rush days, people can even book tokens so that they can skip the long queues at the new premium outlet to buy liquor.

Consumerfed managing director M Ramanunny said a directive was issued in the internal meeting last week to begin work for converting the three-storey building in Thiruvananthapuram into a liquor outlet. The current regional office of Consumerfed in Thiruvananthapuram will be shifted to Chengalchoola or Poojappura.  

“The entire space of the current regional office will be used for the premium outlet. There is ample parking space near the new outlet. We have already installed POS machines at the outlets and people  can pay their bills by swiping debit/credit cards in the premium liquor outlet in Thiruvananthapuram as well,” he said.

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