Soon, CSD to go online
India’s largest retail network, the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) which supplies goods at concessional rates to defence personnel from the Army, Navy and Air Force is planning a makeover, according to a Times of India report.
The retailer is planning to go online, with the entire range of white goods brands available on the CSD website. Customers can select and make online payment directly to the white goods company via internet banking.
Aside from expanding its depots, the retailer is also looking at putting in place systems that will allow customers to purchase the latest goods with no time lag.
Also, the documents needed for purchases will soon be made online. The main objective of the move is to ensure its 1.2 crore cardholders get to purchase the latest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) on the same day that they are stocked on the canteen’s retail shelves.
Instead of two board meetings in a year, the retailer is planning to have six meetings for faster clearance of new product introductions.
“We are already in talks with leading FMCG companies like Hindustan Unilever and Procter & Gamble to ensure our customers get to sample their products as soon as they are launched,” Air Vice-Marshal M Baladitya, chairman, board of administration and general manager of CSD told TOI exclusively.
Baladitya is hopeful of carrying out the changes by Diwali this year.
Also, CSD is talking to leading consumer durable makers to smoothen the process on white goods.
First started in 1921 for British troops, CSD is now planning to expand depots in places such as Bhubaneswar (Orissa), Danapar (Bihar) and Himachal Pradesh. Currently, CSD has 34 depots and 4,500 outlets.
As per the report, major contributors to CSD’s sales are toiletries (around Rs 4,500 crore), white goods and cars (around Rs 4,000 crore), packaged foods and supplements (Rs 3,500 crore), liquor (Rs 3,000 crore) and other household goods & luggage (around Rs 3,000 crore).
From a turnover of Rs 48 lakh in 1948, CSD comes all the way and had Rs 17,000 crore turnover in 2016-17.
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