Returning with a Splash
Although Splash as a brand boasts of an enormous foothold in the Middle East retail market, it has maintained a subdued presence in India since its entry. Going in for a complete switch, the fashion brand is now all set to create a buzz in the Indian market. Kalyan Kumar G, COO, Splash Fashions India Pvt Ltd shares more details with VM&RD on the brand’s expansion strategy.
SKalyan Kumar G
COO Splash Fashions India Pvt Ltd
plash, the fashion brand from the Landmark Group, has revived it presence in the Indian market recently to gain positioning and capture the market by offering high street fashion at affordable prices to Indian shoppers. Armed with a new retail identity, store expansion plans and brand communication, Splash intends to penetrate new regions and capture more Indian shoppers. Kalyan Kumar G, COO, Splash Fashions India gives more insights into how the brand plans to strengthen its position in the country.
Since its entry in 2008, Splash has had a very quiet presence in the market till now. Can you tell us what the brand has in store for the coming years?
This is the first year that Splash is really turning around with a complete new way of thought. We have gone into a complete changeover from what we were before. We have a come up with a new store design concept, new team and large store expansion plans this year. Our first store with the new concept was launched in September 2012, at Whitefield, Bangalore. So far we have completed about six stores with 4-5 stores in the pipeline. Also, we are now focusing on marketing and advertising, for which we have gone widespread in the digital medium. Along with our very active facebook, twitter and pinterest pages, we have also introduced ‘Splash TV’ on the website that gives current fashion trends.
Earlier you were present as a shop-in-shop format in couple of Lifestyle stores. What is the plan to expand through this format in retail?
We are currently present as a shop-inshop in only one Lifestyle store at Chennai Express Avenue. We were present in couple of Lifestyles earlier, but the direction is to move towards standalone store formats. It’s about the experience we want to bring along. And when you are a 7000 sq ft format, you cannot be a shop-in-shop and therefore you need an identity for yourself. We needed to communicate that we are not just a category but a complete brand.
Splash has been mostly present in South India. What is the brand’s plan to expand its reach to other regions in the country?
We have started penetrating into markets now. We were mostly a South-led brand with one store in Delhi. We have now chosen to take it beyond these regions. We have recently opened stores in Ghatkopar-Mumbai, Pune, Thane, and Chandigarh. Though we were already present in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, we have put in additional stores in the same city. Going forward, we are looking at Mangalore, Cochin, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, and Jaipur. However, Mumbai and Delhi will remain key focus regions for us, since they are typically the fashion hubs in India. But it also depends on how real estate works. So while we are exploring new regions, we are constantly looking at Mumbai and Delhi markets.
How is Splash positioning itself in this competitive retail market, with so many brands catering to the same TG?
The first thing that we had to do for the brand was to conduct a consumer study to understand what Splash means to people. Everyone came forward to say that ‘ Splash is a very fashion forward store’. The perception was that the brand was too premium in pricing and positioning, catering to very young shoppers. So we had to work very hard to project Splash as a brand that stands for ‘the young at heart’. The brand offers high street fashion at great prices. Splash earlier was ‘high on design’ and now we are ‘fashion 365’, offering fashion for every occasion and every day. That is the brand positioning as of now, and you will see all our communication going towards that. With this, we are also very sure to penetrate the Tier II market as well.