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Overview of Bangladesh retailing industry

Retail trade is one of the traditional businesses of Bangladesh. Its expansion is keeping pace with population growth and changes in consumption patterns, which are consistent with the growth of the economy. This expansion has not been structurally organized, because, until recently, retailing had never been perceived as an industry, but rather as an individual or family business entity with a very limited scope of organized expansion. Little to no market information is available on the retail sector, but secondary sources indicate that the size of the food retail sector in Bangladesh could be US$12-14 billion, and the number of retail grocery shops could be around 1 million. Retail is one of the biggest sources of employment (12 percent), and it contributed 13 percent (wholesale and retail trading) to Bangladeshs GDP.

Organized retail is booming and creating huge opportunity for enterprises. Retailers though sell other companies products work out their own marketing strategies fixing their own target market towards providing customer satisfaction separately. Retail stores irrespective of product line and relative prices emerge in all shape and sizes, such as Specialty stores, Department stores, Supermarkets, Superstore, Convenience stores, Discount stores and off- price stores.

Types of retail shop in Bangladesh:


There is a wide variety of retail shops in Bangladesh, ranging from open-air temporary shops to well-equipped modern supermarkets. The following classifications may be applied: 1. Roadside shops: These small grocery shops are visible throughout the country and constitute around 75 percent of the retail sector. The floor space ranges between 30 and 100 sq. feet. Most village markets are in this category. No imported food items are available in these shops except some low-quality products from India, especially in border-adjacent areas. 2. Municipal Corporation Markets: Shops in the municipal corporation markets are arranged according to the kind of commodity they carry, such as, fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, and
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groceries. These shops appear in the semi-urban and urban areas. Imported foods and processed food items are available, but limited to those purchased by the middle class. This category represents about 20 percent of the food retail sector. 3. Convenience Stores: These are located mostly in well-to-do urban areas. The customers are upper-middle to upper-class locals and foreigners. These stores are major outlets for imported food items and high quality local products, and represent about 5 percent of the retail sector. 4. Supermarkets: These are the most recent additions to the retail sector in Bangladesh and began appearing less than 5 years ago. With the success of the pioneer supermarkets, this type of store has already attracted the interest of investors, and new outlets are coming into operation quickly. To date, there are about 30 stores of this kind operating in the country, of which 22 are located in Dhaka. They make up less than one percent of the retail sector. The chain super market has more than 8000 different types of items.

Why is retailing important?


As the final link between consumers and manufacturers, retailers are a vital part of the business world. 1. Retailers add value to products by making it easier for manufactures to sell and consumers to buy. It would be very costly and time consuming for consumers to locate, contact and make a purchase from the manufacturer every time they wanted to buy a candy bar, a sweater or a bar of soap. Similarly, it would be very costly for the manufactures of these products to locate and distribute them to consumers individually. 2. Retailers also provide services that make it less risky and more fun to buy products. They have salespeople on hand who can answer questions, may offer credit, and display products so that consumers know what is available and can see it before buying. 3. In addition, retailers may provide many extra services, from personal shopping to gift wrapping to delivery, that increase the value of products and services to consumer

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Current Market Scenario of Super Market:


Superstores are set to boom in the country as the current market players are planning to open several hundred more outlets in the next few years to cope with the rising demand from the consumers. With a strong 15-20 per cent annual sales growth, about 30 companies with more than 200 outlets have already made foray into the industry. The annual turnover of the superstores now stands at around Tk 15.0 billion (1500 crore), according to Bangladesh Supermarket Owners Association (BSOA). Hassle-free shopping environment, hygienic commodities, fresh vegetables, meat and fish at the supermarkets are earning appreciation of the customers. The supermarket biggies have attempted the massive expansion drive to attract the shoppers, who still depend on unplanned wet markets to buy their daily essentials. They say that a rise in organized retailing would offer the consumers hygienic foods at competitive prices, compared to those offered by retailers in the kitchen markets, where commodities are sold mostly in unhygienic condition. But a decade ago, the retail-level trade was in the hands of thousands of small traders in the wet markets and the grocery shops in cities and remained out of the focus of the big business houses. In the past decade, many small and big supermarkets made debut, successfully attracting middle and upper middle class consumers, a section of who are gradually turning to chain stores from the wet or kitchen markets, one of the superstore operators say. So far, the pace of expansion of the existing key-players in the supermarket business has been rather slow. Agora, Meena Bazar, Nandan and PQS have no more than a handful of stores. Many plan to expand their business, but quite a few difficulties arise when launching a superstore-chain in Bangladesh. From the all existing, Dhaka-based Agora now runs four outlets, Meena Bazar nine including seven in Dhaka, PQS five, Prince Bazar two, Nandan five and Swapno 70 including 30 outside the capital. Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) also runs 11 stores in the capital.

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Agora-FIRST ever retail chain in Bangladesh

Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd. (RSL) made a breakthrough in the urban lifestyles by launching the first retail chain in the country, Agora in 2001. Agora promises a valuable shopping experience that provides quality and fresh products at the right price. It aims to consistently provide a remarkably satisfying and valuable shopping experience through a business that improves the quality of life for customers and team members. , Agora is endeavoring to fulfill the everyday needs of its customers by providing the right quality, assortment and price through stores of various forms and sizes. With the continued support of customers, Agora is now just a click away. Browse through their website to find desired products and have them delivered to you at home. By e-commerce, Agora hopes to take the relationship with their customers one step further and be nearer to them at all times.

Positioning of Agora:

strategy

To build a long term relationship with customer by enhancing customer satisfaction is at the heart of Agoras positioning. It aims to consistently provide a remarkably satisfying and valuable shopping experience through a business that improves the quality of life for customers and team members. Agora is endeavoring to fulfill the everyday shopping needs of the urbanites through fair price, right assortment, and best quality. Agora is trying to provide the right quality, assortment and price through stores of various forms and sizes.

Segmentation strategy of Agora:


Agora segments the market by the population density of particular area. It also considers the income and occupation of their target customer as segmentation bases. If we see the location of their branches, well find that most of the male members of family of these locations are of
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working class. Female participate in the buying activity. So they strongly consider the choice and buying pattern of female in segmenting their target market.

Branches of Agora:
Main branches of Agora are situated at: Gulshan(2) Moghbazar Dhanmondi(2) Mirpur Uttara Santinagar Hatirpul Chittagong

With many more coming up at important locations in Dhaka and other major cities, Agora is endeavoring to fulfill the everyday shopping needs of the urbanites through fair price, right assortment, and best quality.

Product categories of Agora


Agora mainly focuses on food items ranging from a wide variety of fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, bakery, dairy, and grocery - it also carries a vast array of other grocery, personal care, and various other consumer goods and household utensils. Some of the main product categories of Agora are:

Baby care products:


Pampers Rock wetty wet tissue
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Johnson baby shampoo Johnson baby powder


Tollyjoy Baby Wet Wipes Johnson Baby Pink Lotion Johnson Baby Milk Bath Johnson Baby Lotion Johnson Baby Oil

Beverages:

Horlicks Malt Drink

Junior Horlicks Rooh Afza Sharbat Complan Viva Malt Boost Malt Drink Nestle Milo Mothers Horlicks Malt Drink Maltova Malt Drink Maltova Malt Drink Ovaltine Malt Drink Milo

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Confectionary

Toblerone
Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Guylian Perles Docean

Nestle Kit Kat Maltesers Chocolate


Tudor Gold Hazel Eclairs Ferrero Rocher Chocolate

Choc Coin
Kopiko Candy

Mentos
Macadamia

Fish

Elish Katal Rui

Meat
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Mutton Beef Chicken

Vegetables
Cucumber Carrot Tomato

Drinks
Mojo Miaranda Coca cola Pran Tipco Tang Cyprina 7 up Frutica Mineral water Pepsi Red bull

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Dewlands Lancor Sprite Foster clark Tiffany Schweppes Delmonte Tipco Zamzam Acme

Health food
Tripti Radhuni Canderel Green field Equal

Powder milk
Nido Dano
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Diploma

Tea-Coffee
Mccoffee Magnolia Nescafe HRC Green spot Finley tea Kazi tea Lipton Taaza Mirzapur tea Pran tea Tetley tea Seylon Nestle

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Supply Chain of Agora


When Agora started its operation in 2001, it didnt have suppliers, processes or systems to support its value proposition to provide fresh produce to customers hand. So the team had to develop a robust supply chain from scratch. Agora now operates 11 outlets, a sourcing and processing centre for commodities and a state of the art distribution centre with 680 employees and 320 suppliers. It has fully computerized SAP supported warehouse management system that facilitates quick flow of goods. In order to build a robust and inclusive supply chain, Agora works with Hridoye Mati O Manush team and Mr. Sheikh Sheraj, an agricultural development advocate of the country. As an example in point, teams from both side are now working for the development of the farmers of Ishwardi. To meet the demand for fresh produce, which is a big growth area as Agora assumes, it has taken many initiatives to perfect its supply chain. Currently 30% of revenue depends on supply of fresh produce (bakery goods, fish, fruit, vegetables, chicken and beef) from 51 SMEs. Agora has also got ISO 9001:2008 certifications as a proof of the quality they maintain and they claim to test every batch of fresh products in their store in order to ensure that theres no hazardous chemical or formalin. Most suppliers of fresh produce to the retail sector in Bangladesh are SMEs for Agora they are accounting for a third of their current revenues - but many of them lack the capacity to grow as the retail sector expands. This resulted in Agora investing in cold and chill storage, transport and display facilities. The absence of organized fresh produce supply chain resulted in Agora solely developing fresh produce suppliers. This included training perishable traders who operated in the unorganized wet market on proper sorting, grading, storing &transportation of produce and fundamental disciplines of running a business. We also formed partnerships with farmer associations toward this objective.

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As Agora expand, the company realized the need to further build the capacity of small and medium fresh produce suppliers and develop robust supply chains and trading relationships. As a result, Agora initiated a project designed to address Agoras needs while developing their SME suppliers ensuring the inclusive aspect. The main commercial driver for this venture is the increased demand for high quality, safe and sustainably-sourced produce, as a result of Agora's expansion plans. The project was supported by DFID, BIF and AGORA and the capacity building expertise was received from one of the worlds leading business consultancies Accenture and PUM from Netherlands. The project vision was to support the growth of Agora and improve Agoras external social impact. It supports Agoras profitable growth and brand image, increases revenue & the number of stores and enhances quality & brand image of Agora fresh. On the inclusive side it increases Agoras external social contribution by commercially benefiting the poor and reducing unhealthy practices in the perishables supply chain. A further driver is the potential impacts Agora could have on the rest of the retail sector in Bangladesh, through best practice example and supplier capacity building. Many of Agora's suppliers are based in some of Bangladesh's poorest districts. Increased demand for fresh produce from Agora will gives them an opportunity to expand their business. The addition of business development services enables them to build their capacity to expand effectively. This will benefit the SME sector, their employees, and the small farmers who supply them. Good practice in ethical and sustainable buying will be included in the support services, so that producers in the supply chain benefit from stable and ethical procurement contracts with SMEs, driven by the growth in the retail sector. In addition to the direct benefits to those in the Agora supply chain, there is potential for this initiative to encourage wider sector developments: good practice in ethical and sustainable buying from producers; development of business development services for SMEs; and emergence of a sustainable and inclusive retail sector in Bangladesh. In collaboration with BIF, Agora will build a capability model for fresh produce suppliers and assess the current capability of suppliers against this model. Agora will then build capacity where needed by supporting improved procurement of capital equipment; mechanized production processes and training in a range of business skills. The business development services market to SMEs is underdeveloped in Bangladesh, particularly in addressing the needs of the retail sectors. This project is innovative because it will enable a better understanding of the needs of this sector and stimulate the market for these services.

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Supply chain of perishable products


Sourcing of fresh produce is a major challenge for Agora because of their perishability by nature. Therefore, Agora is working to build a supply chain for perishable products that will allow them to source in the shortest possible time through proper channel while maintaining their best quality. Supply chain of perishable products by categories and sourcing locations are described below.

Agora Supply Chain: Local vegetables and fruits


Agoras supply chain for local vegetable and fruits is quite complex given the number of sources and links involved. Agora sources its vegetable and fruits from as many as five sources. It identified points where potential malpractice can occur such as mixing of hazardous chemical and tries to minimize them. In addition how information among the channel flows are also pointed out. The supply chain model for vegetable and fruits has been illustrated below:

Sourcing from farmers through suppliers: Vegetables and fruits are often collected directly from farmers all over Bangladesh. Suppliers approaches individual farmers to negotiate price and collect them.

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Sourcing from Dhaka wholesale market: Dhaka wholesale market like Kawran bazar is also a target area for sourcing of local vegetable and fruits. Suppliers buy and sort goods to send fresh vegetable and fruits to Agora.

Sourcing from contractual farmers: Agora contracts out the supply of vegetable and fruits to a number of contractual suppliers who produce fresh products to sell to Agora. Sourcing from middle men: Agora also buys local vegetable and fruits from local/regional market where various middle men brought goods after collecting from farmers. Sourcing directly from farmers: In addition, Agora sources a big chunk of fresh produce from farmers association where it exists.

Agora Supply Chain: Meat


Meat supply chain is somewhat less complicated than that of vegetable and fruits. Suppliers collect meat from farms and provide information of the demands of the meat and other market information. To ensure health value of meat, suppliers provide testing kits to commercial farming as well as perform testing activities by themselves. Being ensured, suppliers send them directly to agora stores to speed up the process and increase shelf availability. Agora also stocks meat at the warehouse to meet additional demand. Besides, agora sources meat from Bengal meat and Brac chicken as they have more hygienic farming process and brand value as well. The meat supply chain for Agora has been illustrated below:

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Agora Supply Chain: Fish


Procuring and providing fresh fish is of critical importance to Agora. It procures fish mainly from two sources: Fishermen and local wholesale market and Dhaka wholesale market. Fishes from individual fishermen and local/regional market are collected and brought to Dhaka by suppliers. Then fishes from Dhaka wholesale market are added to the stock and directly provided to the Agora stores to preserve their freshness. Fishes are also stocked at central warehouse for to be sent to meet further demand. The fish supply chain model is illustrated below:

From where supplies come from:


Agoras supplies of fresh produce come from virtually all over the country. The graphical representation of supplier location is presented below which shows Agora keeps increasing its supplier base in every nook and corner of the country in order to find and make available the best products to their customers.

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Vegetables:
Vegetables come from a number of places such as; Joypurhat Gaibandha Rajshahi Netrokona Brahmanbaria Comilla Munshiganj Manikganj

Fruits:
Fruits are sourced from the places where they grow well and of the best quality. They are sourced from: Panchagarh Nilphamari Naogaon Chapai nawabganj Rajshahi Narshingdi Noakhali Satkhira Jessore

Fish:
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Fishes are collected from fishermen and local market of places like: Bogra Sirajganj Gazipur Khulna Bhola Chittagong

Meat:
Meat sourcing paces are : Pabna Lalmonirhat Naogaon Rajshahi Natore Khulna Sherpur Kishoreganj Thus, it is evident that Agora reaches to every corner of the country to collect fresh produce such as vegetable, fruit, fish and meat and serve them to customers in the shortest possible time.

Supply chain of non-perishable products


Condiments/Processed food:
Agora sells processed foods in its stores. The processed foods it sell in its store are
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Jam, jelly, Amsotto, Achar, Mango bar, Milk produced items, Bread, tomato ketchup Sauces of different flavours Chutney Ginger powder Halim spices etc.

Procurement system of these products:


Basically agora collects these items from the producers of different processed food producers like Pran, Shan, Ahmed Company, nor company, ACI etc.They are the reliable suppliers of these item to the agora shop. Agora uses its own vehicles or vehicles of the purchasing company to make them available in the store of agora. They manage the safety stock to manage the uncertain demand from the customers.

Pulses/Grains:
The pulse items that agora sell to its shops are:
Premium nazirhair Premium miniket Kalijirra rice Chinigura rice Chola dal Mosorer dal Mug dal

Procurement system of these products:


Though collection of rice is a seasonal but now it is available in several areas in Bangladesh all the year round, they are contracted with (Rashid rice mill .kustia)(Biswas rice mill..Dinajpur).
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It also has storage facilities in Tejgoan where they hold these items to make these available in the market all the time. It contracts with the transportation company in collecting these items from the farm gate. It also provides continuous market information to its supplier to make them informed about the market situation so that the producers can understand the products availability and customer needs.

Spices:
Agora sells the following spices in its retail stores: H.A elachi Pran spice powder(all category) Sanfaz chicken masala Radhuni fish curry masala Onion Garlic Arku chili,chicken masala Mehran nehari masala etc.

Procurement system of these products:


Agora also collects it from different renowned manufacturer of Bangladesh. These items are basically packed which presents customers the sign of freshness and quality assurance. The firms produce these by using own production plant from where agora collects these items. Here agora also uses its own transportation and also contract transportation system. It also uses SME to collects its products from different producers. Sometimes it imports some items from the foreign countries like onion, garlic, and other spices.

Tea/coffee:
Agora sells the following tea and coffee items in its stores:
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TAAZA fresh tea Nescafe classic coffee Nirzapore best leaf tea Lifton taaza Nescafe gold(Germany) Seylon tea Nescafe coffee mate HRC tea Kazi organic tea Finlay tea bag

Procurement system of these products:


Here these products are basically collected from the manufacturer of different tea and coffee. Agora collects these basically tea form the Sylhet (moulovibazaar, mirzapur, srimongol etc) where the producers have own production plant. It also imports coffee form the foreign country like Germany. Transportation system is basically contracted here. The transportation authority is responsible to bring the items to the warehouse of the agora. It collects its coffee form the nestle Bangladesh ltd. basically which has a strong brand image in the minds of the consumers.

Procurement system of cereal items:


It procures its cereal items from the producers of different areas of Bangladesh.in maintain continuous information flow with these producers to make them informed about the market scenario. Faster transportation allows a supply chain to be more responsive. The type of transportation a company uses also affects the inventory and facility location in the supply chain.

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Company may use both inventory and transportation to increase responsiveness or efficiency, the optimal decision for the company often means finding the right balance between the two.

SUPPLY CHAIN DRIVERS AND METRICS OF AGORA SUPER SHOP


Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd. (RSL) made a breakthrough in the urbanlifestyles by launching the first retail chain in the country; Agora followed the step of new trend of supermarket concepts introduced by others. They believe that within 5 years supermarkets will dominate the shopping scenario as happened in neighbouring countries. The philosophies of the company are to: - be highly customized - sell value-added products - sell ready to eat products - sell broad range of fresh produces

Facilities:
AGORA currently has two stores. Grant Vinning understands that there are plans to have around 24 stores nation-wide by the end of 2010. The company is under the umbrella of Rahimafrooz Group. The group is the market leader in the automotive and industrial batteries and also has business interests in power supply, environmental cars etc.
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Production sites and storage sites facilities:

Agora has four outlets all over Dhaka situated in Dhanmondi, Gulshan, Mirpur, and Moghbazar. It has placed its outlets in the prime centers of city which seems to be much convenient to customers. Agora has also started their journey in Chittagong and Sylhet too.

Components of Facilities Decisions: Location: decentralization (responsiveness) Capacity: flexible Manufacturing methodology: (both products focused and process focused) Warehousing methodology: (SKU storage, job lot storage, cross-docking)

Inventory:
Agoras strategic aim is to source in bulk quantities from the producers or manufacturers of products, thereby reducing distribution layers. Traditionally, such practice brings about organization within the industry, and essential commodities, edibles and groceries; account for the significant portion of the food industry which in turn is the largest contributor to the
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broad retailing industry, establishment of the chain of supermarket would have a significant impact on the entire retailing industry in Bangladesh.

Components of inventory decisions:


The decisions regarding to the inventory are:

Material flow time:


The average material flow time is (1-2) days in Agora super shop. As responsiveness is a strategic Competitive priority, of Agora it locates larger amounts of inventory closer to Customers.

Components of Inventory Decisions: Cycle inventory: At any point in time, there are nearly 20,000 different products available at Agora. Safety inventory: Inventory held in case demand exceeds expectations in Agora. More inventory: greater responsiveness but greater cost

Transportation:
Moving inventory from point to point in a supply Chain. As responsiveness is a strategic competitive priority of Agora, so the faster transportation modes provide greater responsiveness to customers.
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Components of Transportation Decisions:


Mode of transportation: Air, truck, rail, ship, pipeline, electronic transportation. Route and network selection Route: product is shipped through rural to urban and town.

Information:
Agora collects Information which is potentially the biggest driver of supply chain. Data is collected regarding to: Data and analysis regarding inventory, transportation, facilities throughout the supply Chain.

Components of Information Decisions:


Pull (demand information transmitted quickly throughout the supply chain) type of information flow is maintained. Coordination and information sharing with all stages of stakeholders.
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Forecasting and aggregate planning to maintain effective flow of information. Technologies used by Agora: EDI Internet ERP systems Supply Chain Management software

Sourcing:
They currently handle more than 16,000 items. They sell a wide array of imported goods but they do not import directly but buy from importers. Roughly of their suppliers 20-30% is fresh producers. This segment has had a good response from their customers and sales are increasing in both stores. They have also started to undertake some processing for valueaddition and presently pre-packing salads and vegetables. Contract production system: Presently they have 420 suppliers under the broad categories of perishable and non-perishables. Among the suppliers (5-10) percent direct importers. A few suppliers (3-4) have direct link with farmers. It is understood that AGORA finds it cumbersome dealing with such a range of suppliers. In addition it finds the supply chain to be very unreliable. It is for these two reasons that it is understood that once AGORA reaches a critical minimum mass in its purchasing capabilities, currently estimated at four stores, then AGORA will concentrate on using aggregators in Singapore to supply most of its requirements. To what extent fresh products will feature in this is unknown.

Components of Sourcing Decisions:


In-house versus outsource decisions: Suppliers are mainly selected with contract negotiation and depend mostly on outsourcing.
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Supplier evaluation and selection Procurement process.

Pricing:
The pricing concept of Agora is based on price for quality. Where possible AGORAs pricing policy is to sell at prices similar to local market prices. They sell a wide range of products ranging from specialty items, fresh produce available all the year round (e.g., mango) as well as high quality traditional sweets. They find that they cannot compete with commodities or mainstream products easily available in the typical stalls and retail outlets. They have developed a system to monitor commodity price fluctuations through benchmarking big bazaars and super stores. Their target customers are those in the upper and upper middle class. The companys CEO has a longer-term vision to target a customer base and include people from the lower income bracket. Agora maintain Brand image. Their motto in branding is right price right Quality removing the fear of customer about products quality. They always try to sell brand products which assure good product and service quality. A g o r a ' s g r o w t h o v e r t h e l a s t 6 y e a r s h a s i n v o l v e d a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f i t s strategy and image. Its initial success was based on the "Pile it high, sells it c h e a p "

High-low pricing
Many exclusive products like perfume, households and fresh basic foods are available in Agora which is priced higher than traditional market. Mainly Agora supplies many unusual unseasonable items which they priced higher because of the product unavailability in outside. Fixed price with MRP (maximum retail price)

Agri products price in Agora super shop:

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Category Beverages: Dewlands Mango Juice 1ltr T.Pack .. Cyprina Mango Mixed Juice 1ltr T. Pkt ... Cyprina Apple Juice 1ltr T. Pkt .... Dewlands Red Grape Juice 1ltr T.Pack .... Tang 750g Poly Pack ... Dewlands F.Cocktail Juice 1ltr .. Berri Cranberry Juice Drinks 1.5 ltr .. Schweppes Ginger Ale 330ml Can ... Berri Grapefruit Juice 1.5 ltr .... Tiffany Mango Juice 1ltr T.Pack ... Tang Instant Orange Drink 1.5kg Tin .. Tang Orange 750g Jar ... Foster Clarks Inst.Mango Drink 1.5kg Tin.. Schweppes Tonic Water 330ml Foster Clarks Inst.Orange Drink 1.5kg Tin.... Fish: Elish Katal Rui fish

price
Tk 146.0 Tk 115.0 Tk 115.00 Tk 146.00 Tk 218.00 Tk 146.00 Tk 395.00 Tk 71.00 Tk 347.00 Tk 485.00 Tk 132.00 Tk 258.00 Tk 285.00 Tk 85.00 Tk 470.00 Tk.335 Tk.180 Tk.200

Country Fresh Apple Juice Aus 2 Ltr Packet .... Tk 368.00

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Fruits: Malta Yellow Apple Gala Health Food Canderel 75g Jar (Germany) .... Ahmed Orange Diabetic Jelly 500g Jar .... Equal Sachets 100s ... Hooray Low - Calorie Sweetener 500ml ... Candarel 40g Jar .... Tripti Chiratar Dal 25g Pkt .... Koli Spice Yosuf Gool 100gm .... Koli Spice Yosuf Gool Bhushi 100gm .... Ahmed Apple Diabetic Jelly 500g Jar .... Ahmed Guava Diabetic Jelly 500g Jar .... Tripti Esubgul Bhushi 250gm .... Green Field Isubgul Bhoshi 100gm .... Zerocal Sachet Pack ... Mm Youshubgul Bhushi 100g Pkt ... Ensure Powder Vanilla 400gm Tin .... Radhuni Diabetic Firni Mix 60gm .... Tk.180 Tk.140 Tk 570.00 Tk 105.00 Tk 215.00 Tk 225.00 Tk 280.00 Tk 10.00 Tk 29.00 Tk 85.00 Tk 105.00 Tk 105.00 Tk 55.00 Tk 70.00 Tk 50.00 Tk 73.00 Tk 560.00 Tk 180.00 Tk 570.00

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Meat Fresh Beef 1 kg .... Fresh Chicken 1 KG weight .... Fresh Beef .... Fresh Chicken .... Raw Mutton .... Raw Mutton .... Oils/Fats: Rupchanda Soyabean Oil 5 ltr Pet Bott .... Red Cow Butter Oil (Nz) 900gm Tin .... Radhuni Mustared Oil 1000ml .... Rupchanda Soyabean Oil 5ltr Hdpe Bott ... Red Cow Ghee (Sd) 900gm Tin .... Australian Harvest Canola Oil 4 ltr .... Teer Soyabean Oil 2ltr Pet Bott .... Kushtia Special Ghee 500gm .... Kings Pure Soyabean Oil 5 Ltr Pet Bott .... Kings Sunflower Oil 5 Ltr Pet Bott .... Rupchanda Soyabean Oil 5 ltr Pet Bott .... Rajbari Ghee 500g Jar .... Red Cow Butter Oil (Nz) 450gm Tin .... Lucy Oliva Pure 5 Ltr .... Teer Mustard Oil 900ml Pet Bott .... Teer Mustard Oil 0.5ltr Bott .... Teer Soyabean Oil 5ltr Pet Bott .... Tk 434.00 Tk 605.00 Tk 170.00 Tk 554.00 Tk 530.00 Tk 1310.00 Tk 214.00 Tk 295.00 Tk 970.00 Tk 1167.00 Tk 255.00 Tk 312.00 Tk 3800.00 Tk 132.00 Tk 73.00 Tk 529.00 Tk 52.00 Tk 305.00 Tk 265.00 Tk 205.00 Tk 425.00 Tk 275.00 Tk 225.00

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Pran Mustard Oil 250ml .... Super fresh soyabean oil 1ltr. .... Pran Mustard Oil 500ml .... Tala Pure Sunflower Oil 2ltr Pet Bott .... Rajbari Ghee 500g Jar .... Red Cow Butter Oil (Nz) 450gm Tin .... Lucy Oliva Pure 5 Ltr .... Teer Mustard Oil 900ml Pet Bott .... Teer Mustard Oil 0.5ltr Bott .... Teer Soyabean Oil 5ltr Pet Bott .... Pran Mustard Oil 250ml .... Powder Milk Dano Milk Powder 2kg Tin .... Dano Super Inst Milk Powder 1800g Tin .... Diploma Powder Milk 1kg Pkt .... Diploma Powder Milk 500g Pkt .... Nido Full Cream Milk Powder 1 kg Tin .... Dano Low Fat Milk Powder 400gm Pkt .... Dano Milk Powder 1kg Pkt ....

Tk 112.00 Tk 95.00 Tk 565.00 Tk 434.00 Tk 605.00 Tk 170.00 Tk 554.00 Tk 530.00 Tk 1310.00 Tk 214.00 Tk 295.00 Tk 1385.00 Tk 1388.00 Tk 505.00 Tk 254.00 Tk 713.00 Tk 213.00 Tk 562.00

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Factors affecting consumers to shop at agora:


City life is changing day by day. People are experiencing more and more changes and developments. People from diverse walks of life are also settling themselves with the growing pace. For the marketer, it has become a great opportunity to understand the actual needs and wants of the population and while providing them with the commodities, the service industries are also going through tremendous changes. The Chain Superstores are now a growing phenomenon in Dhaka city. As the customers are increasingly becoming more aware of the conveniences and their own lifestyles, they are in many cases preferring to go to a Chain Superstore for their everyday shopping rather than to small departmental stores around. Superstores introduced a whole new experience in the shopping of daily necessities. They offered quality products at a stable price in safe and clean environment in order to survive and achieve profitability. Although there are many factors which relate to customer satisfaction, but most of previous empirical research in this field tended to emphasize on Quality productsAt Agora Best Quality products are available, so that the customers are interested for purchasing goods from Agora.

Products variety and special productsVarious products from different brands (national and foreign) are present at Agora. People can find easily the desired product and can compare which product is best among the products. Sometimes special products are also available at Agora, which are not available in another shop.

LocationStore location is another important factor. People prefer Agora Because Agora chooses best locations for establishing their outlets near residential area and commercial area.

Hygienic environment-

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A rise in organized retailing would offer the consumers hygienic foods at competitive prices, compared to those offered by retailers in the kitchen markets, where commodities are sold mostly in unhygienic condition.

Hassle free shopping and freshness Hassle-free shopping environment, hygienic commodities, fresh vegetables, meat and fish at the supermarkets are earning appreciation of the customers.

Competitive priceOut of the factors, price has comparatively much importance in any business strategy in the dynamic business environment.

Layout of the storeLayout of the stores of Agora is attractive. Customers feel free to shop at Agora because of efficient space for easy moving with carts.

Brand ImageBrand image is also an important factor. Agora is a part of Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd. In Bangladesh Rahimafrooz Ltd is a leading Brand. Because of the brand value of Rahimafrooz, customers are interested to shop at Agora. Quality of Store ServiceAt Agora, one salesman is present with one shelf. They help the customers to find the desired product by giving the direction of the product. Salespeople are very helpful; if any product is currently not available at store they politely say that to the customer. Every store has a Guest Reception Desk for any inquiry. Choice to Purchase from the storePage 32

As products of different brands are available so the customers have choice to purchase various products from the outlet. Brand mix of a productDifferent brands along with huge product lines help to find the best product and make shopping easier for the customers. Credit card facility to customerIn Agora customers can pay the bill using various credit cards. All in oneIn Agora from baby products to commodity products are available. Customers can shop convenience products along with beauty care products at a time. Less time ConsumingAs many products are available at a time and are sorted according to the category, it will take little time to shop.

Secure and Friendly environmentThe environment is secured and friendly for all type of customers especially for the women. Good Deals Department stores offer special deals and low prices for budget conscious people. Prices are also generally low no matter if the economy is good or bad.

Special Discounts AGORA usually has a new promotion every week and, some store managers may give some additional discounts. When you buy everything under one roof, you then get a bargain package; By clipping coupons you can save even more money. Membership cardsAgora is offering membership cards to its regular customers. By using membership card for purchasing products customers can get many kinds of discounts along with many facilities.

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Good services to working peopleThe supermarkets offer good services to working people who really find little time for shopping. Relaxing shopping experienceAgora gives a relaxing shopping experience, which traditional kitchen markets fail to offer. Besides, every commodity is available in the mega-shop. An "inclusive offer"This phrase is used by Agora to describe its aspiration to appeal to upper, medium and low income customers in the same stores.

Recommendation
Agoras business model is based on selling a wide variety of merchandise at low prices. It is one of the pioneers in the retailing industries in Bangladesh. We think there is still a chance of development in several sectors. These recommendations are given below

*Improving Customer Service in Retail:


To improve the level of customer service Agora needs to focus on the following cases A) Train staff: Not all employees know how to provide good customer service when working in a retail store. So it is needed to discuss with staff key points of customer service, including customer assistance, phone etiquette, personal appearance and other aspects you feel are important. Demonstrate how to properly greet customers, and encourage your employees to
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practice customer service skills with you or other employees. Make customer-service training a part of any new employee orientation process. B) Involvement of the Employees: Employees are a vital source of information. Employees help identify hazards and solve problems. Their involvement can enhance job satisfaction, motivation, and acceptance of workplace changes.

*Conducting Research activities:


It is always very necessary to carry out necessary research activities. Agora should focus on this field. It is always needed to ensure that there is a market for what you have to offer. Look around locally for similar retail merchants. If there is, casually ask the owner or manager how they are doing, how long they have been in business and how well received their product is. Don't copy what they are doing.

*Performing more promotional activities:


Agora should adequately publicize and advertise their products. Advertising may help retailers stay on top of the consumer's mind, leading to the possibility of higher sales. Agora so far has neglected these tools of communication. If people do not know the location of your business, they won't come. Advertise at least a little bit to let people know about you and your services. Choose from a wide variety of advertising, such as sending out emails if your business is local or has a much targeted audience. Making commercials and sending out flyers are a couple more ways of advertising.

*Use of Internet:
Agora should make effective use of the Internet for retail success. They could use it to establish a presence on the Web and interact with customers through e-mail and social networking techniques.

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*Others:
They must have more efficient procurement system They should maintain efficient management system Providing better quality products to the customers

Conclusion
The name of Agora is entangled with the glory of-the Agoras marketing policy to create a better environment for consumers. A man gifted with an inherent entrepreneurial sense, Late A. C. Abdur Rahim, the founder of Rahim-Afrooz started a trading house in 1973, which continued to expand in scope and nature as time went along. In 2000, Agora was introduced to the world. The success was immediate as there was a demand for such business in the local market. Agora's state-of-the-art technology and creative strategy gave it an edge orangey its competitors at local market. Agora is a Dhaka-based supermarket chain. It is the largest retailer, both by local sales and by domestic market share, and the largest retailer in Dhaka leaving behind PQS, Meena Bazar, Nandan Mega Shop, Pacific, Pick and Pay, Etc, Shop & Save and others. Agora Ltd. is an enterprise that combines industry and trade, mainly engages in retailing the quality products at the most lowest price in the market. The management of Agora was an
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enthusiastic advocate of trading stamps as an inducement for shoppers to patronize their stores: They signed up with all types of quality products manufacturer, and became one of the companys largest clients. But the management was a fan of pile it high and sells it cheap, and in the mid-2000 Agora faced many cost problems associated with not properly integrating its purchased chains of stores. When the firm overstretched itself opening few more outlets throughout the city, management consultants were called in to sort out the mess. In 2001 Agora launched Operation Checkout, an across the board price cutting campaign aimed at countering the threat from the new breed of discounters such as Kwik Save. Facing the world and looking beyond, Agora will always maintain the pure-hearted, enterprising, quality and struggling spirit make efforts to scrupulously abide by our goodwill, create splendid future together with you in management vision of joint development, joint prosperity and mutual benefits!

References

1. Mr.Mehrab Hossain, Marketing Manager, agora superstore ltd.


2. www.agora.bd.com online>last accessed on 12th October,2012 3. www.rahimafrooz.bd.com online > last accessed on 12th October,2012 4. www.scribd.com online> last accessed on 12th October,2012 5. www.info.com.bd online> last accessed on 12th October,2012

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