Shreya Lavsi, The Ray­mond Shop

VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Mansi Lavsi

Cel­e­bra­tion bells ring at The Ray­mond Shop on C.G Road, Ahmed­abad, one of the most suc­cess­ful stores in the wide net­work of brand Ray­mond across the coun­try. The re­la­tion­ship jour­ney of the Lavsi fam­ily with The Ray­mond Shop that started in 1989 crosses the sil­ver ju­bilee mark. The 25-year jour­ney saw this re­la­tion­ship get stronger, the busi­ness grow more pros­per­ous, the brand eq­uity gain­ing and the store build­ing a wider loyal cus­tomer base.

How did the jour­ney be­gin?

We have been the Gujarat re­gion agents for the brand since the 1950s. So, our re­la­tion­ship with Ray­mond dates way back. We started the store in 1989 with a 2,800 sq. ft space. The ar­ray of col­lec­tion at Ray­mond back then was not as wide as it is to­day. We re­tailed fab­ric, blan­kets and shawls. The ready­made sec­tion only com­prised of Park Av­enue. Be­spoke is at the heart of the brand and cus­tom tai­lor­ing has always been a part of the store; true to the brand legacy.

Tell us about your re­la­tion­ship with the brand

25 years is a long time of as­so­ci­a­tion with the brand and we have grown hand-in-hand with the brand. At ev­ery point and in ev­ery as­pect we have ad­hered to brand val­ues and re­spected its legacy. When a cus­tomer walks into the store, he goes through a seam­less brand ex­pe­ri­ence which has been crafted over the years.

Who is your tar­get cus­tomer? Has it changed over the years?

When we started the store, con­sid­er­ing our prod­uct range the tar­get cus­tomer class com­prised of males over 30 years of age and we catered to their for­mal wear needs. This seg­ment was tweaked with new col­lec­tions and brands be­ing added to the Ray­mond port­fo­lio. To­day, based on our col­lec­tion

range, we have found loyal cus­tomers among the young male as well. Parx and Park Av­enue ca­su­als are quite a hit with the younger gen­er­a­tion. Also, we have a cus­tomer base for our eth­nic col­lec­tion. The Park Av­enue Woman sec­tion which we started a few years back brings many women cus­tomers to the store.

How has the store evolved? What were the mile­stones to­ward suc­cess?

Be­ing an ac­tive part of the re­tail in­dus­try, change is in­evitable. To mark a con­tin­u­ing progress, the store has un­der­gone ma­jor ren­o­va­tion thrice in th­ese 25 years; first in 1993 when it ex­panded to 4000 sq. ft, fol­lowed by an ex­pan­sion to 5,000 sq. ft in 1997 and the store you see to­day was ren­o­vated in 2007 and boasts of 11,000 sq. ft of Ray­mond ex­pe­ri­ence spread across three lev­els. Th­ese ma­jor changes mark as our mile­stones. Of course, mi­nor changes hap­pen all the time to keep the store fresh. Over the years, Ray­mond has proudly started a few new sub-brands and con­sciously shut down a few. Th­ese changes ac­com­mo­date the changes made by the brand.

What fac­tors vouch for your suc­cess? How are th­ese 25 years sig­nif­i­cant?

We have always stressed on keep­ing the store con­tem­po­rary. Stay­ing in sync with cur­rent times as­sures progress. All changes the store went through were done keep­ing this in mind. I would per­son­ally like to credit our sales ser­vice for the cus­tomer loy­alty. Ray­mond is a brand known for its qual­ity and cus­tomers con­nect emo­tion­ally to the brand. The same feel­ing has to be ex­pressed at the store level as well. Our store of­fers per­son­alised ser­vice to all cus­tomers. We have a huge data­base of reg­u­lar cus­tomers which is owed to a friendly as­so­ci­a­tion. Cus­tomers and the sales staff are quite ac­quainted with each other and the bond­ing de­vel­oped over the years keeps them loyal to our store. 25 years play a huge role here as re­la­tion­ships are not formed overnight. We give a lot of im­por­tance to main­tain­ing re­la­tion­ships with the cus­tomer. It helps that our staff mem­bers too have worked with us for at least 7-8 years on an av­er­age. Cus­tomers share per­son­alised greet­ings with the staff mem­bers when they come to the store. I can say from ex­pe­ri­ence that such a sce­nario is very rare in re­tail. There have been times that I have en­coun­tered store recog­ni­tion on my trav­els as well. Peo­ple re­late to a store be­cause of the peo­ple at the store.

What is it about your busi­ness model which en­sures for­ward growth?

We be­lieve in keep­ing up with the cur­rent meth­ods. All foot­falls and pur­chases are tracked. Be­fore plac­ing a new book­ing with the brand, we do in-depth re­search based on our data to un­der­stand the styles, brands and prod­ucts pre­ferred by our cus­tomers and place the or­der ac­cord­ingly. This re­search on our own track record helps us ful­fill cus­tomer de­mands.

What is your take on store de­sign?

We have always con­sid­ered store de­sign as a cru­cial fac­tor lead­ing to progress and busi­ness growth. Through­out th­ese 25 years, we have strived to keep the store de­sign in sync with times. The de­sign at the store to­day is con­cep­tu­alised by de­sign firm Blocher and Blocher, which was done at a pan-In­dia level and ex­e­cuted by ar­chi­tect Deepak Kalra for our store. Zon­ing is an im­por­tant part of de­sign and all our de­part­ments are strate­gi­cally in­cor­po­rated in the de­sign. For ex­am­ple: The ground floor has been des­ig­nated for im­pulse buy­ing and along with ac­ces­sories and our bed and bath col­lec­tion, ca­su­als also oc­cupy space on the ground floor it­self. This zon­ing works well for store busi­ness.

Lastly, would you like to credit any­one for the suc­cess of the store on this oc­ca­sion?

Ours is a fam­ily-run busi­ness and ev­ery­body has their con­tri­bu­tion in what we are to­day. We have reached here and have been able to have this cor­dial jour­ney with Ray­mond un­der the guid­ance of Mr Sne­hal Lavsi who is the se­nior­most in the fam­ily and the busi­ness

Shreya Lavsi, Owner The Ray­mond Shop, C.G Road, Ahmed­abad

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