Store Design & Visual Merchandising Head Arvind Lifestyle Brands
In Retrospect: 2012
I think there were lesser impulsive sales compared to the previous years; the buying pattern of a customer was more planned. Consumer demand was also greater than earlier, so deliverables were also high in terms of a good shopping experience, high quality and a wider range of products and services. During the second half of the financial year we introduced a new store concept for ‘Arrow New York and Women’s’ and we also redesigned Arrow’s retail identity which worked very well for us.
Arrival of FDI
India is not far behind in terms of retail design; we have seen some very good store designs in the last few years. With the arrival of FDI, I am sure we will experience some more innovative and fantastic retail design this year, wherein India will be on the international map. Yes, they are some areas we need to drastically improve on. These include quality of fixtures, mannequins and display aids. Our suppliers too need to start getting organized and invest in technology, safety standards and also expand their capacity.
Looking Ahead: 2013
It is going to be a fierce retail environment and we need to have the best practices in place in all the areas of retail business. It’s all about getting the right strategy and ability to execute them seamlessly. There are going to be expansion plans and surely there will be more stores coming in 201314. Cost cutting is going to be a major concern; this does not mean that there will be a compromise on the quality, look or feel of a store. On the other hand, it will be more of value engineering without affecting the profitability of vendors.