Crossword, the Indian retail book chain, began the year on a positive note by inaugurating a book store in the Ghatkopar area in Mumbai and followed it up with its first bookstore at Medical Square in Nagpur. The book chain recently inaugurated two bookstores in Bengaluru as well. The stores are located at Executive Chambers, Cunningham Road, and Lulu Global Mall.
Crossword expanded its operations by opening its 70th store in the City of Nawabs Lucknow at the Phoenix Pallasio. The book chain recently opened its 72nd bookstore in March at the Sarath City Mall in the City of Nizams Hyderabad.
All six stores are operational on all days and provide visitors a chance to go through their exhaustive collection of books, magazines, comics, and stationery.
Crossword gets a new lease of life
The book chain, founded in 1992 in Mumbai, has managed to stand the test of time. It was acquired by departmental store major Shoppers Stop back in 2005. Under the aegis of Shoppers Stop, Crossword had gradually turned into a loss-making venture with the gradual decline in sales of physical books amid rise in eBook retailing and the growth of eCommerce giants. The company had to shut down close to 12 stores in FY 2020 – 2021 due to pandemic-induced losses.
It was embroiled in controversy in 2021 when Shoppers Stop, which had a controlling stake in Crossword Bookstores, sold it to Agarwal Business House (ABH) from Pune for a grand sum of approximately Rs 41.62 crore. After the divestment in late August 2021, the shares of Shoppers Stop instantly jumped nearly 6 percent at both BSE and NSE.
After the acquisition, Agarwal Business House immediately got down to the business of expanding the book chain’s retail footprint and undertook a multichannel approach to achieve its ambitious plans for Crossword which include turning it into a book-first brand. At the time of the resale, Crossword was generating around 60 percent revenue from the sale of books while the remaining percentage came from sales of stationery, merchandise, toys, and other brackets. With a rich experience of over 20 years in the publishing industry, the new owners are optimistic about the recently-acquired business.