Just as major e-commerce players are starting to target the rural market through partnerships with local retailers, Bangalore-based FabMart.com is throwing all its chips in with the introduction of a similar retail model aimed at Tier III and IV towns.

The company plans to tie-up with local retailers, through a franchisee model, to allow consumers to purchase products from brands that would normally be available only in metros.

“What we are really trying to do is allow people in the smaller towns to get access to the type of merchandise usually available only in malls in big cities. We are trying to bridge this gap. Customers can just walk into the local retail outlet, browse through our selection and order it. We are accepting applications for retailers who would want to partner with us in Tamil Nadu from now on, and started in Andhra Pradesh last month,” said Alphonse Reddy, CEO, FabMart.com

Equal profit-sharing

FabMart, which has 20 franchises in Andhra Pradesh so far, plans to appoint 200 more in Tamil Nadu. The profit-sharing with the retailers is 50-50, with no minimum purchase quantity required by the consumer.

“For the retailers, there is a small franchise fee of Rs. 25,000, a lot of which goes into the customised tablet that we give them along with sales experience training.

“For consumers, they don’t have to worry about purchasing using a credit/debit card. They can adopt whatever payment model they prefer with the retailer directly, for example, cash-on-delivery,” he said.

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