Anand World is a first-of-its-kind world class garments mall in Sambalpur, Odisha. The three-storey mall today, started off as a small 400 sq. ft. store in 1984 called Anand Collection. A second 600 sq. ft. readymade store soon followed, and by 2004, the brand launched Anand World, which covers an area of around 5,20,000 sq. ft. “Anand World became the first big retail outlet in Sambalpur. The idea was to bring Mumbai to our consumers in Sambalpur. We wanted to provide the best of fashion trends to our consumers. We hired renowned architects, installed the finest art pieces from the state into the outlet and set about roping in some of the best apparel brands in this part of the world including Zodiac, Louis Philippe, Blackberry, Park Avenue, Levis, Killer, Woodland, Revlon and adidas,” says Anand Agarwal, Managing Director, Anand World.
“The company witnessed a very high growth rate of 30 percent in the beginning which has unfortunately gone down to 18 percent mostly because of lack of innovation especially since consumer demands are evolving very fast. The population of Sambalpur is around 2 lakh, which means our target audience is fixed in terms of number, a disadvantage for us. We also lost some of this growth to new competitors and e-commerce. We are looking to innovate and providing consumers with new experiences and latest trends to pull up this growth rate,” adds Agarwal further.
The Odisha retail market in particular is a conservative one. Customers want value for money – something which has proved to be a massive challenge for bigger retail players in the country, struggling to understand consumer psyche and make an impact in smaller towns. “Our customers are smart buyers who don’t want to compromise on quality. We need to make sure that the offering is of the right quality at the best possible price, so as to make sure both the consumer and the retailer benefit. Also, the supply chain management needs to be more organised,” says Agarwal.
The Impact of Technology
The outlet management uses a software to bar code every single product. They maintain a database of the previous year to monitor sales growth – daily, monthly and annually.
“We use a software to analyse sales category-wise. We record and use data to understand the shopping behavior of the consumers. We use our software heavily for Customer Relationship Management,” says Agarwal.
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