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.