DMart, a retail chain owned by billionaire Radhakishan Damani, goes on property acquisition spree during COVID-19 as retailers look to increase footprint taking advantage of subdued real estate prices.
Radhakishan Damani’s DMart acquired as many as seven properties worth Rs 400 crore as the retail chain set off on a property shopping binge during COVID-19, documents accessed by real estate data and analytics firm Propstack show.
DMart, which operates in 11 states and 1 Union Territory, bought properties in places such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru. The retailer typically purchases properties instead of leasing them.
DMart has strategically focussed on enhancing its footprint during the past six to nine months due to the availability of better deals, according to real estate consultants Moneycontrol spoke to. Prices are subdued, deals are available in better locations and closures are faster, which has helped retailers like DMart increase their footprint across geographies during the pandemic, they said.
The company did not respond to a query Moneycontrol sent.
Avenue Supermarts Ltd (ASL), which owns and operate DMart, bought a plot spread across 41,760 sq ft in Nizampet, Hyderabad worth Rs 34.3 crore in February 2021; in March, it bought 36,697 sq ft in Srinivagilu, Bengaluru worth Rs 30 crore; it acquired a plot for Rs 81 crore in Mumbai’s Bhandup area spread across 66,981 sq ft in May, the documents show.
Last year in July, the company acquired a property (where a building was proposed) in Narsingi, Hyderabad spread across 43,915 sq ft for Rs 38.4 crore. In December, it purchased a property at Tathawade in Pune spread across 48,989 sq ft for Rs 30.8 crore, the documents said.
Along with the Pune property, the company came into possession of 47 car parkings and 38 scooter parkings as well.
Avenue bought a commercial property in Mumbai’s Chembur—spread across 42,922 sq ft with 78 car parkings—for Rs 113 crore and another property in Mumbai’s Kalyan spread across 51,930 sq ft in December, 2020 for Rs 39 crore, according to the documents.
On May 8, the company reported a 52.76 percent year-on-year jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 414 crore for March quarter. It reported a net profit of Rs 271 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year.
Announcing the earnings, the company said significant disruptions have been seen from March onwards for its store operations. The restrictions and local level enforcements have become much stricter. Neville Noronha, CEO and Managing Director, Avenue Supermarts Limited said in a statement that FY 2021 has been a challenging year for the business.
Significant disruptions have been seen from March 2021 onwards for store operations, according to DMart. The restrictions and local level enforcements have become much stricter, the company said in a statement earlier.
D-Mart opened its first store in Mumbai, Maharashtra in 2002. As of March 31, 2021, the company had 234 operating stores spanning 8.82 million sq. ft.
DMart was in the news in April when in one of the biggest property deals in Mumbai, founder Damani and his brother Gopikishan Damani bought a Rs 1,001-crore independent house in Mumbai’s posh Malabar Hill area in April this year.
According to local brokers, the registration took place on March 31, the last day of the reduced 3% stamp duty on housing units in Maharashtra.
On August 26, 2020, the Maharashtra government had announced a temporary reduction in stamp duty on housing units, from 5% to 2%, until December 31, 2020, to boost the stagnant real estate market, hit doubly hard by COVID-19. The stamp duty from January 1, 2021, until March 31, 2021, was 3%.
The Maharashtra government on March 31 said it would not extend the stamp duty waiver on property registrations and kept the Ready Reckoner Rates unchanged for the financial year 2021-22.