Retail chain eyes Shillong foray by next year

Sohum Shoppe sets up eighth outlet in NE

GUWAHATI: City-based Sohum Shoppe, a leading retail chain in eastern India, plans to open its first outlet in Meghalaya in a year’s time.

“We plan to come up with an outlet in Shillong in a year’s time even as there has been litigation in regard to building specifications for two years now. There are plans to launch outlets across the region in the coming years,” Siddharth Jalan, chief executive officer of Sohum Shoppe Pvt Ltd told reporters on Wednesday on the eve of the formal launch of its eighth outlet in the Northeast here.

The 30,000 sq ft (ground plus three floors) shopping outlet is the fourth to be set up in the city and the seventh in Assam.

“This outlet will offer over 500 national and international brands to shop from apart from various other components of entertainment. To add to it, there is a fine dining restaurant and a two-screen multiplex cinema for variety,” Jalan said.

Sohum Shoppe has over the past 18 years increased its retail space in the region from 10,000sq ft to 2.30lakh sq ft.

“We have invested over Rs 300 crore on the items itself in our outlets. If you take into account the infrastructure and the building space, it would be much more,” he said.

Manohar Lal Jalan, the managing director of Sohum Shoppe said that the latest outlet has the advantage of location as it is situated in a residential area with less traffic, ample parking space and a direct link to the National Highway 37.

The outlets of Sohum have generated employment for over 1500 people. “A majority of the employees are from the Northeast and they have been groomed to offer clients a personal touch as we claim to be a family store,” he said.

On the competition from exclusive mega brands, Jalan said the retail chain’s growth or footfalls have not been affected by the entry of major players. “In fact, we welcome healthy competition as it helps us raise the bar given that retail is a service centric. As a local player, we believe we have been able to relate to clients better here apart from introducing schemes that match up with our competitors,” he added.



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