Registered customers ‘duped’ as Big Bazar secretly closes its stores

JAMMU — Defrauding people, Big Bazar of Future Retail Group has closed its stores in Jammu and other parts of the country without intimating its registered customers to whom the company owes millions of rupees.

Reports said that Big Bazar administration did not inform its registered customers before or even after closure of its stores on February 25 and thus misappropriated the amount in Profit Club wallets of thousands of Jammuites.

Since the exact number of Profit Club members with Big Bazar in Jammu is not known, the aggrieved customers are feeling hapless while Police has not yet taken cognizance of the apparent fraud with people.

Pertinent to mention that Future Retail has shut most of its Big Bazar stores since February 25 as it missed lease payments to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). According to media reports, RIL has taken possession of those stores that were sub-leased to Future Retail and all of these stores are loss-making.

The Delhi High Court is also hearing four cases in the legal battle between Future Group and e-commerce major Amazon. In a stock exchange filing , Future Retail said it received termination notices for a significant number of stores because of huge outstanding dues, and it would no longer have access to such store premises.

In 2020, landlords had begun to terminate the lease agreements with Future Group and several of them approached RIL. The lease for those stores was then signed with the Mukesh Ambani-run company and these were sub-leased to Future Group. The debt-ridden retail chain has over 1,700 stores across various brands, which include Big Bazaar, Fbb and Central.

In Jammu too, Big Bazar secretly closed its store at City Square near Press Club Jammu on February 25 with no prior intimation to its registered customers, who have deposited advance amount with the Future Retail Limited to become members of its Profit Club.

The registered customers are members of its Profit Club and entitled for purchasing in the Big Bazar store 10 percent more than the amount deposited against the card. For registration and getting the Profit Cards, the customers were required to deposit Rs 10 thousands in advance with the Future Retail Limited (Big Bazar).

According to Dr Ranbhushan Singh, one of the registered customers of Big Bazar, he has Rs 6000 in his Profit Club card but there was no one to tell him from where to get back this money deposited with the Big Bazar.

“Like me there are thousands of registered customers, who are in dark over the fate of their hard earned money deposited with Big Bazar,” he said.

Even as no formal complaint in this regard has been lodged so far with the Police or its Crime Branch, a senior Police officer told the Excelsior that it was a fit case for registration of FIR against the Big Bazar for apparent misappropriation of hard earned money of the people. — (Daily Excelsior)