Mangesh Vyawa­hare

VP De­sign & Devel­op­ment Aditya Birla Re­tail


In Ret­ro­spect: 2012

Con­sumer needs and other trends have been con­tin­u­ously evolv­ing. We ac­knowl­edge this fact and have been at­tempt­ing to keep pace with the needs. The im­pact of th­ese changes was sig­nif­i­cant and this is ev­i­dent from the de­sign changes we have suc­cess­fully im­ple­mented for our stores launched in 2012. While the core de­sign val­ues were re­tained, ex­ter­nal fac­tors like the look­touch-prac­ti­cal­ity etc were touched upon.

Ar­rival of FDI

All large in­ter­na­tional re­tail­ers come with a great deal of ex­pe­ri­ence and tried and tested so­lu­tions adopted across the world with dif­fer­ent cul­tures. FDI would cer­tainly bring in what is long over­due. What would mat­ter though is the un­der­stand­ing on the lo­cal con­sumer and buy­ing habits. But on the whole, it will bring in prac­tices best suited for In­dia along with newer for­mats. With this change, the de­mand for re­tail de­sign and fit-outs will see a big jump. In fact it al­ready has. Se­ri­ous play­ers are al­ready pre­oc­cu­pied and cre­at­ing space for more. The cur­rent lo­cal op­er­a­tors will also change and com­pete with the in­ter­na­tional de­signs. What that means to the fit-out in­dus­try and fix­ture sup­pli­ers would be any­one’s guess.

Look­ing Ahead: 2013

The vi­sion has to be be­yond 2013 or 2014. Un­for­tu­nately re­tail de­sign does not have an­nual tar­gets or num­bers to achieve. Or­ga­nized re­tail is fairly new to In­dian re­tail­ers when com­pared to coun­tries across the globe. Re­tail de­sign plays a vi­tal role in sus­tain­ing and grow­ing, apart from busi­ness knowl­edge. With the re­tail foot print in­creas­ing year on year, aware­ness and ex­pec­ta­tion is also on a rise which is a good sign but re­tail­ers have to re­cip­ro­cate in re­sponse. Ev­ery cus­tomer ex­pects to get the best shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence and to do this that lit­tle ex­tra spend is es­sen­tial. Re­fresh­ing store char­ac­ter, features etc at ap­pro­pri­ate times are equally im­por­tant. That adds an el­e­ment of sur­prise and en­riches shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

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