Driven by smart cat­e­go­riza­tion


In the year 1965 Lt. Satya Prasad Roy Burman ac­quired a small shop in Chit­pur, Kolkata, and with it the Khadim’s brand. Within a few decades it gained pop­u­lar­ity and in 1993 the brand moved into re­tail­ing. At present Khadim’s owns 600 stores across the na­tion. VM&RD chats up with Ri­to­ban Roy Burman, Grand­son of Satya Prasad Roy Burman and Spokesper­son of Khadim In­dia Lim­ited, to know their suc­cess story and how Khadim’s has be­come a prom­i­nent name in the or­gan­ised life­style seg­ment of the coun­try.

ex­act look of how a Khadim’s store should look like for the next cou­ple of years.

What has been your ap­proach to the use of store de­sign as a busi­ness tool? Any real ex­pe­ri­ence you can cite which de­cides on the as­pect of bud­get­ing for VM and for spe­cific as­pects such as floor­ing, light­ing, man­nequins etc?.

We have a spe­cific and stan­dard cod­ing that is done for all as­pects of VM which we fol­low for all the stores. Our stores are lo­cated all over the coun­try, be it in met­ros, tier I, II or III cities, and we have a uni­form look for all of them. Thir­teen of our Cat­e­gory A stores are our flag­ship out­lets which are lo­cated in all the metro cities. Apart from that, all our other re­tail show­rooms and fran­chised out­lets also fol­low the VM norms fol­lowed by us.

What has been the big­gest chal­lenge for Khadim’s in the In­dian re­tail mar­ket in terms of sat­is­fy­ing cus­tomers?

We as a brand from the very be­gin­ning have al­ways tried to un­der­stand the de­mand of our cus­tomers, whether from the sales point of view or from the mer­chan­dise point of view, rather than fo­cus­ing on what we want to cater to. But now it is a mix of both, we know what the cus­tomer wants, what are the lat­est fash­ion trends etc. So we try to blend all th­ese things to­gether and present some­thing new to the cus­tomer each time. We be­lieve that it is the USP of our prod­uct which sat­is­fies our cus­tomers.

How able store have the VM Team been to get ex­po­sure to global de­sign trends and prac­tice?

When we started chart­ing a proper re­tail de­sign strat­egy we fol­lowed the uni­ver­sal fun­da­men­tals of vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing, but we all be­lieve that the de­sign should be func­tional enough to sup­port the prod­uct line of that par­tic­u­lar brand and that with time ev­ery re­tailer must evolve their own unique iden­tity when it comes to vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing. In our team we have vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ers and re­tail de­sign­ers who ac­tu­ally help us in ex­e­cut­ing the whole process.

How im­por­tant is the need for re­tail de­sign­ers to in­te­grate with vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing and vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion when it comes to a brand like Khadim’s? What has been your ex­pe­ri­ence on this front in the In­dian con­text?

In Khadim’s the Vis­ual Mer­chan­dis­ing team comes un­der the Mar­ket­ing depart­ment and thus it does not work in iso­la­tion. Since VM is a part of this team, ev­ery­thing moves

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