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Crossword is one of the pioneers in the field of retail book stores. Currently, the industry is going through a phase of rapid transformation - existing players are consolidating and new players are entering into the market

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Introduction

Crossword Bookstores Limited Introduction: Crossword is one of the pioneers in the field of retail book stores. Currently, the industry is going through a phase of rapid transformation - existing players are consolidating and new players are entering into the market. The already tight margins in this business appear set to be squeezed further. The major players currently in the market are: Landmark and Odyssey, both of which are present primarily in South India and Crossword. Pantaloon Retail Ltd has announced that it plans to enter into the book retailing business. The smaller stores are going to feel the pressure of the competition both in terms of size and brand value. Crosswords Ahmedabad started in 1995 and ever since it has been a hunting ground for the book lovers of the city. Offering a wide variety of books, it has positioned itself as a lifestyle bookstore with an offering for customers of all ages. It is different from the other bookstores in the sense that it offers its customers the chance to find out for themselves where their tastes in reading lie, thus making it a pleasurable experience. The Crossword(CW) stores are franchise stores of the Shopper's Stop Limited. There are 28 stores spread all over India, out of which 3 are in Ahmedabad. ...read more.

Middle

All the staff members report directly to the owner. Procurement System: CWi procures books from publishers and wholesalers in Delhi and Ahmedabad. There are approximately 85 suppliers of books mostly in Delhi. The non book suppliers are local suppliers and there are approximately 85 of these. The orders are sent to the store using road transport. The local suppliers have a 30-day credit cycle and the outstation suppliers have a 90-day credit cycle. The suppliers are paid post-dated cheques and these are collected at the end of each month. The order takes 5 days to arrive if the supplier is based in Delhi and takes 2-3 days to arrive from a supplier based in Mumbai. Supplier relationship: In a decade of operations, the store has maintained good relations with its suppliers and has not faced any major problems with the stock or payment. The principle concerns of the suppliers are - dead stocks i.e. unsold books, prompt payment of dues and steady trade relationship. In the book retail industry, there is standard practice of 10% dead stocks - the retail store is allowed to return 10% of the stock that it bought. By using effective inventory management practices, CW has managed to keep the problem of dead stocks to a very low scale. ...read more.

Conclusion

These festivals are meant to push sales of particular categories of books. Some issues: The entry of new players in the market is going to increase competition. With the entry of Pantaloon, one can expect margins to decrease. This would make better management of the store even more crucial. There are some steps that need to be explored to counter this threat: * Estimation of demand for books would have to be more accurate to avoid short supply and dead stocks. One possible step that can be taken in this respect is to allow customers to book advance orders on the website. This will help in forecasting accurate demand figures. However, the membership information would have to be maintained to ensure false bookings do not happen. * CW would need to build up on the customer's shopping experience. This can be done by ensuring consistently high levels of service, highly trained staff and a good collection of books. * Alternative distribution channels like email and phone for order booking exist but they need to be promoted more aggressively. Exhibits: Exhibit 1 Movement of stock and information flow Reference: Crossword Bookstores Limited, http://www.crosswordbookstores.com/index.asp Even without FDI, retail booms. The Financial Express. December 31, 2005. Retrieved January 30, 2006 from http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=113101 i Only otherwise mentioned, the various operations mentioned here pertain to the CW store at Raipur-Kankaria Road, Ahmedabad. [vk1]details of section??? ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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