Sri Lanka’s State owned Lanka Sathosa shopping chain has dramatically ascended to become the largest retail player in the country, beating all other local supermarket brands unmistakably, Minister of Industries and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen says.
“Lanka Sathosa now stands as Sri Lanka’s largest retail shopping chain” Minister Bathiudeen said Friday at the opening of the first ever mega model outlet.
Launching the mega outlet series, the retail chain’s 400th outlet was declared open by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Welisara Friday.
Addressing the event Prime Minister Wickremesinghe praised Minister Bathiudeen for the great growth seen in the Lanka Sathosa.
“Government wants to give essential goods at most reasonable prices to the consumers. We have not deviated from this and in fact, implementing it. Lanka Sathosa is playing the great role of lowest price setter in local retail market, and helps government in its consumer support role,” the Prime Minister said.
Speaking at the event, Minister Bathiudeen said the Sathosa is launching its mega outlet series with today’s opening of the 400th outlet. He thanked the Unilever Sri Lanka for the support given to revamp the previous Welisara outlet to create the first mega model outlet.
He said plans are afoot to open another 25 such new mega outlets this year with the support of private sponsorships.
Minister Bathiudeen said another two Lanka Sathosa outlets in Badulla District are being opened today and together with all the three outlets launched, the retail network reaches 400 branches as of today, and Lanka Sathosa now stands as Sri Lanka’s largest retail shopping chain.
“We are transforming Lanka Sathosa from a loss making service institute to a marketing based profit oriented model so that it can serve our consumers without being a burden to our public funds. In fact I am pleased to say that we have commenced many cost control initiatives and as a result saved significant funds last year. We also launched many promotional campaigns with reputed Sri Lankan companies to increase sales turnover which has greatly helped Lanka Sathosa to increase its revenues. As a result today I am pleased to say that our monthly turnover has almost doubled and in December 2017 our turnover was Rs 3.2 billion.”
Minister John Amaratunga and Chairman of Unilever Sri Lanka Carl Cruz also spoke at the event.
In its quest to expand further in to rural areas, Lanka Sathosa plans 8000 franchised outlets partnering with privately owned MSME shops across the country and has already started registration of qualifying MSMEs.
The present Lanka Sathosa network of 400 is scheduled to be expanded further- so that when it celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2019, the network shall total 500 branches-along with a bigger monthly turnover. According to Sri Lankan FMCG sources, the second largest privately owned supermarket chain after Lanka Sathosa has only around 240 outlets.