India grocery and retail giant Future Group is planning to expand its KB’s Fair Price corner store format across India after a successful pilot project in New Delhi.

In the coming 18 months, Future Group will open 1,000 franchised stores based on existing shops and help to revamp, refurnish and rebrand the outlets while providing back-end support.

“We believe this is the way of building inclusive retail with kirana [grocery] stores,” said Damodar Mall, Future Group’s director of integrated food strategy. “They get to run modernised, branded, simply managed stores and we provide the back-end, IT and customer intelligence.”

India’s local kirana stores have recently been hit by rising operating costs, he said, but “corporate-driven fully service stores in India” have not succeeded. “We have crafted an appropriate model,” said Mall. “We modernise the store for the franchisee entrepreneur and reduce effort so that he can concentrate at the front-end.”

Future Group will focus on large cities, Mall added, where the company could feasibly run 100 or more stores in a network.