In a bid to centralize its food distribution network, Richard Peiris Distributors Ltd (RPD) is gearing to set up a dedicated warehousing plant in a strategic location, officials said. “Right now our food distribution is decentralized, but we’re looking to centralize it within the next 18 months,” Andrew Dalby, CEO RPD told the Business Times. He added that warehousing is on the cards and the company is closely looking at the current road network development to benchmark the best location for this.
He noted that RPG is slated to open 17 more new stores within the next 18 months and that now they are more Western Province orientated in this exercise. “This will change in the next 18 months and we will see Southern Province expansion of retail stores between now and the second quarter of next year,” he explained. He added that RPD opened a store last week at Kochchikade, Colombo 15 and the Piliyandala (which is in the suburbs) Superstore is on the cards next.
He said that Modern Trade (MT) represents 23% of the total retail trade on the country and that the capacity for growth in this segment is significant. He added that the company is looking for joint venture partners to develop their existing property sites.
He added that with continued expansions, RPG can consider possible synergies and acquisitions of other firms. “With continued expansions, RPG can consider possible synergies and acquisitions of those firms which is a good fit, because with continued expansions there’ll be the advantage of economies of scale which will allow the company to look for synergies with other firms,” Mr. Dalby noted.
On the same lines, he added that RPG hasn’t completely ruled out acquiring potential fast moving consumer goods (FMGC) firms, but right now the priority is to grow the retail chain.
He also said that there’ll be a US$ 20 million worth facelift at their Arpico Super Centre at Hyde Park Corner, Colombo 2.
He said that while RPG has identified the leisure sector as a new area to get into, it will at the same time 'go slow’ on tourism. “We are cautious about putting money into a highly capital intensive area. We will initially focus on refurbishing and turning around the bungalows (in the plantations),” he explained, adding that the company plans to refurbish five bungalows to turn them into boutique hotels during mid term.