Re­turn­ing with a Splash

VM&RD - - BEHIND THE SCENE - BRAND TALK -

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.

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