Toonz Retail
Interiors of a Toonz Retail store in Warangal, Andhra PradeshCreative Commons

Homegrown children's products retail chain Toonz Retail said on Friday that many firms in the retail space suffered logistical nightmares and systems shutdowns while migrating their payments platforms from Value Added Tax (VAT) to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime late last month. 

The GST, which purports to levy uniform rate of tax for products and services across the country, was launched on July 1.

"Because of big migrations from VAT to GST, a lot of companies had systems shutdowns. Hence, there were no supplies for a week and so. We could predict this in advance and kept enough stock in the stores to ensure that availability to the customers in not compromised," Sharad Venkta, MD & CEO, Toonz Retail India, told International Business Times.

Venkta said that extensive preparation done by his company ensured that the GST launch day went off without complications.

"Since we operate in 16 states, 52 cities and more than 100 retail outlets, it was important to us to integrate proposed changes in our IT systems. We simultaneously worked on our ERP system and tested it rigorously so that come July 1, all our billing and customer experience was smooth," Venkta said.

Toonz Retail's leadership team invested a significant amount of time in communicating with staff, buyers, suppliers and other stakeholders to ensure that there's clarity and we are using our common email id to resolve any query from any of the stake holder.

On the logistical issues facing the industry in the post-GST era, Venkta said that some teething issues related to vendors still not having their GST registrations and some clarity regarding classification in HSN codes remained to be sorted out. On Toonz's plans, he said, "We are taking it one by one and as it comes. Purely from a strategic point of view, the buying and logistics team is reassessing its plans to ensure that we can take advantage of 'one nation, one tax' system and generate more value for every stakeholder."

Toonz Retail has a network of over 50 stores in the 1,200-2,000 sq ft area range, mostly based in South India that sells everything from clothes to crayons, prams to puzzles, walkers to rockers, blocks to board games, rattles to remotes cars and diapers to dolls.