Arvind

VM&RD - - CONTENTS -

In the late 1900s, Arvind was a pi­o­neer in the ex­ports of pre­mium shirt­ing and den­ims, where its po­ten­tial was recog­nised by global brands. Cross­ing the mil­len­nium, aware­ness of mod­ern day re­tail­ing seeped in and The Arvind Store came to life. A jour­ney, a tran­si­tion and a stand­ing sym­bol of her­itage clubbed with modernist at­ti­tude is what Arvind is all about. Read on to zoom into the de­tails.

Back In The Days

Started in 1931, Arvind was a company as­so­ci­ated wi t h th e Swadesi Move­ment. Years later, Arvind op­er­ated pre­dom­i­nantly in the ex­port space, where the business pro­file was on an up­ward graph. The past two decades saw a rise in the ex­port port­fo­lios too. Along with that, be­spoke gar­ments and den­ims es­pe­cially were at the heart of Arvind. They op­er­ated through small scale re­tail stores and MBOs for the sale of fab­rics and be­spoke gar­ments. They func­tioned more on a push based strat­egy rather than a pull based strat­egy. With its con­quest in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, Arvind did es­tab­lish brand value but had not es­tab­lished it­self as a brand name.

The Pif­fany

In the words of P.S Ra­jiv, Re­tail Head, The Arvind Store, “Why fix some­thing that is not bro­ken? But the mar­ket op­por­tu­nity was very

beck­on­ing.” Mar­ket in­flu­ence played a huge role in re­al­i­sa­tion of a need for dom­i­nant re­tail pres­ence. When for­eign brands could ap­pre­ci­ate the prod­uct of­fer­ing, how could In­dia not be re­cep­tive to its home­grown company?

Also, the cat­e­gory aimed by Arvind had a strong leader and no other player. That

doesn’t sound right. “The con­sumer al­ways likes to have op­tions and mar­ket was invit­ing us with open arms. We might be late into the scene, but we could not risk over­look­ing this op­por­tu­nity,” says Ra­jiv.

The Tran­si­tion With a stan­dard set by mar­ket com­peti­tor, a di­rec­tion to­wards the new iden­tity was vis­i­ble and de­sign agency Fitch took over the task of pre­sent­ing Arvind in its new out­fit. The cus­tomer was al­ready ac­cus­tomed to a cer­tain stan­dard –in terms of prod­uct and ser­vice of­fer­ing both- and any­thing be­low that would not lever­age. The de­sign of the stores was an equally chal­leng­ing task as it laid the car­pet to the ex­pe­ri­ence which lay ahead. Over a pe­riod of four years, the company ex­per­i­mented with dif­fer­ent for­mats start­ing with an ex­pe­ri­ence cen­tre in Hy­der­abad

fol­lowed by an in­terim flag­ship model, flag­ship model, fac­tory out­let and bud­get

model. “We don’t be­lieve that one size fits all. Dif­fer­ent mar­kets need to be treated dif­fer­ently,” says Ra­jiv. A flag­ship ex­pe­ri­ence, a pre­view to a per­son­al­ity state­ment and a her­itage con­nect is what the trans­for­ma­tion led to be The Arvind Store. The es­sen­tials of Arvind like shirt­ing, denim lab and Stu­dio Arvind (its be­spoke ven­ture) were fine tuned to de­liver an ex­pe­ri­ence which would ex­ceed the cus­tomer’s ex­pec­ta­tions. Brands like U.S Polo Assn., Tommy Hil­figer, Ar­row etc. which be­long to the house of Arvind were brought un­der the same roof with its fab­ric se­lec­tion to es­tab­lish a re­newed po­si­tion­ing in the form of The Arvind Store. The youth to­day, de­spite be­ing glob­ally ex­posed looks for an In­dian con­nect. Arvind with its tale of her­itage and the new avatar, serves the cus­tomers a dish rich in all in­gre­di­ents. When a her­itage con­nect is in­volved, comes the as­pect of cus­tomer loy­alty. A model which in­vites re­peat cus­tomers works best for the cat­e­gory. “We look at of­fer­ings for a sin­gle cus­tomer rather than cus­tomers for a sin­gle of­fer­ing,” signs

off Ra­jiv.

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