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.
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