ANNUAL REPORT 2014 BLOKKER HOLDING
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Big Bazar

FORMAT
Big Bazar is a discount chain offering customers competitive prices in an original and inspiring retail environment. Big Bazar provides a very wide and fast-changing product range which is divided into 12 worlds: Contemporary & Surprising, Home & Decoration, Clothing & Textiles, Children & Games, Hobbies & Parties, Home Improvement & En Route, Pets Care, Clean & Convenient, Dining & Cooking, Food & Drink, Beauty & Personal Care and Cash Register & Multimedia. Big Bazar also sells premium brands at very low prices.

Big Bazar stores are mostly located in high-traffic locations in city centres, as well as in district shopping centres and in exurban areas and urban outskirts. Big Bazar remains one of the fastest-growing retail chains in the Netherlands. The sharp growth in the number of stores has also generated higher sales revenues in the Netherlands and Belgium. 

Big Bazar has taken a number of important strategic steps in 2014. This includes the development of a completely new retail format and logo and a substantial expansion of the product range. A number of XL stores have been opened with floor space of between 600 and 1,000 square metres, while some stores which had become too small have been relocated, expanded or closed down.

CLOSE TO THE CUSTOMER WITH CONTEMPORARY FORMATS
A new retail format was developed in 2014 for the successful XL format. A completely new store layout was introduced selling the 12 ‘worlds’, appealing branding featuring shades of orange and magenta, and a new Big Bazar logo. The purpose of the new format is to maintain the discount format, based on an always changing product range and a unique retail experience. Following a substantial expansion of the product range at the end of 2014, the average Big Bazar store currently carries 5,000 items. 

XL STORES AND BIG SIMPLE
The first new store – or at least a smaller version of it –opened on Amsterdam’s Kalverstraat in April 2014 to much public interest and media exposure. The first-ever XL store opened its doors in the Maxis retail park in Muiden in July 2014. Shortly afterwards, additional XL stores opened in Alkmaar, Venlo and The Hague. At the end of 2014, existing XL stores in The Hague, Rotterdam and Roermond were converted based on the new format. Since then, Big Bazar has converted a total of 10 stores based on this format, to be followed by an additional number of store openings in 2015. A new Big Bazar XL opened its doors in Hoofddorp in February 2015, in addition to a store based on the new Blokker format. 

At the end of 2014, Big Bazar tested for six smaller Big Bazar formats whether the new-style format would appeal to consumers. The layout and several elements of the new format were copied. This design, known as the ‘Big Simple’ project, has proved successful in terms of both customer experience and sales revenues. 

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE
The Big Bazar retail chain has grown rapidly in recent years; approximately half of the Blokker distribution centre in the town of Mijdrecht is currently reserved for Big Bazar. These capabilities may be further increased if the Big Bazar format continues to grow in the future. 

OPEN AND COMMITTED TEAMS
Of the total of 1,300 people employed by Big Bazar at the end of 2014, 500 joined in 2013 and 400 in 2014. This means the majority of Big Bazar staff have been with the company only a short while. The compact management team worked hard during the year under review on setting up a professional and efficient organisation, including training courses for new employees. 
 
OUTLOOK AND ACTIVITIES FOR 2015
In addition to the opening of Hoofddorp XL in February 2015, Big Bazar is focusing on sales growth at the existing stores and expansion in large-scale XL locations. Another 40 renovations based on the new format are scheduled for 2015. Big Bazar is currently also working to improve its visibility, in order to increase traffic to the stores. Since early 2015, the company has been distributing a new leaflet to homes every two weeks. Big Bazar is currently also working together with Xenos and Blokker in sourcing their food from the same suppliers. This partnership is expected to create purchasing and other synergy benefits.

The shop floor of a Big Bazar XL store.


Big Bazar, Maxis Muiden Retail Park.


Big Bazar, Maxis Muiden Retail Park.