VMRD - - Contents - Satarupa Chakraborty

Swarovski is mak­ing strong pres­ence across the coun­try to­day. In be­tween ro­bust MBO scal­ing plans, en­ter­ing into non-metro mar­kets and on the verge of rolling out their lat­est global de­sign con­cept in In­dia, VM&RD catches up with Jochen Sch­midt, VP Re­tail Ar­chi­tec­ture CGB, Om­nichan­nel & Com­mer­cial Op­er­a­tion, Swarovski and Sukanya Dut­taroy, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, CGB Gen­eral Man­age­ment, Swarovski In­dia.

Tell us about your re­tail pres­ence sce­nario in In­dia and how do you plan to scale it up? Jochen : In to­tal we will have around 12 projects in In­dia this year. Eleven are new openings and 4 of them will be MBOs. We will pro­ceed with this pace over the next years as we strongly be­lieve in the fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the re­tail land­scape in In­dia. We tar­get for the right mix be­tween EBO and MBO. In an ideal mix both chan­nels sup­port each other. Whereas the EBO is a strong tool for a pre­mium brand to drive brand aware­ness, pro­vide an out­stand­ing con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence and the full of­fer. The MBO’s will help to reach out to the con­sumer in un­der-pen­e­trated re­tail lo­ca­tions and pro­vide ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the con­sumer. Also here we want to fur­ther grow and this is re­flected in our midterm dis­tri­bu­tion plan.

Sukanya : Swarovski has been in In­dia since 2000, and we would like to think that we are one of the few ma­ture brands in In­dia. We are very well dis­trib­uted in malls across the coun­try as well multi-brand out­lets. We started off with an on­line pres­ence on e-com­merce shop­ping web­site, Myn­tra last year and ex­panded to Jabong this year. We plan to have a pres­ence on most of the lead­ing e-com­merce web­sites of the coun­try.

What scope do you see in In­dian non­met­ros? Sukanya : Keep­ing in mind the coun­try’s in­cli­na­tion to­wards the brand, we will con­tinue our in­vest­ments in the In­dia mar­ket by be­com­ing more ac­ces­si­ble to cus­tomers as the re­tail mar­kets evolve and Tier 2 mar­ket are def­i­nitely an area of in­ter­est for us, which we will at­tempt to lever­age in the com­ing years.

How do you plan to fur­ther build on your omni-chan­nel strat­egy?

Jochen : Cur­rently, we are rolling out the “Click and col­lect” con­cept in 7 coun­tries in par­al­lel. The pi­lot in UK is very suc­cess­ful and both chan­nels take ad­van­tage of this con­nected ex­pe­ri­ence. We think about fur­ther con­nec­tion of on­line / off­line with same pay­ment meth­ods and also the in­te­gra­tion of so­cial me­dia in the over­all con­sumer jour­ney.

Are you plan­ning to open any large for­mat store/spe­cialty re­tail for­mat?

Jochen : We have an in­cred­i­ble her­itage of 120 years and we want to surprise our con­sumer again and again through in­no­va­tion and out­stand­ing crafts­man­ship. Cur­rently, we are work­ing on a com­plete new ex­pe­ri­ence for the con­sumer, which will be launched dur­ing Christ­mas 2017. We want to surprise our cus­tomer with a fully dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ence in a brick and mor­tar en­vi­ron­ment - from find­ing the right style and prod­uct to vir­tual try, shar­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence on so­cial me­dia and do­ing a dig­i­tal check out.

Larger store for­mats like our Flag­ship store in Ginza, Ja­pan or Crys­tal World in Aus­tria are not in the pipe­line for In­dia at the mo­ment. How­ever, we know those large stores can pro­vide an el­e­vated brand ex­pe­ri­ence and are im­por­tant for any in­ter­na­tional brand out there.

Many brick-and-mor­tar for­mats are go­ing through ma­jor makeovers. What is Swarovski’s plan of ac­tion here?

Sukanya : We are ac­tu­ally done with the last leg of re­fur­bish­ing our In­dia stores as In­dia is one of the first coun­tries that has com­pletely moved to Swarovski’s In­ter­na­tional ‘Crys­tal For­est’ Con­cept. Kolkata was the last store that was re­fur­bished and trans­formed into the Crys­tal For­est con­cept. We aim to con­tinue this ar­chi­tec­ture for all the stores of In­dia. The rea­son for mov­ing to this con­cept for all the store was, that with the rise of the glob­al­ized cus­tomer, we ex­pect to pro­vide the same ex­pe­ri­ence to the In­dian cus­tomer as they would at any Swarovski store in Europe, UK or USA and we are proud to pro­claim that In­dia is one of the few coun­tries to make this com­plete trans­for­ma­tion. The Crys­tal For­est Con­cept fo­cuses on a more ac­ces­si­ble prod­uct dis­play for high sen­sory ap­peal, through a bal­ance of easy nav­i­ga­tion as well as the Swarovski Cir­cle of Ex­cel­lence for a con­sis­tent, global Swarovski ex­pe­ri­ence.

Jochen : Since 2016 we have been us­ing more screens in the con­cept than static vi­su­als. We can com­mu­ni­cate in a more flex­i­ble man­ner, tell a bet­ter story and show more about brand his­tory, her­itage, mas­tery and crafts­man­ship, which makes our prod­ucts so unique.

Jochen Sch­midt, VP Re­tail Ar­chi­tec­ture CGB, Om­nichan­nel & Com­mer­cial Op­er­a­tion, Swarovski

Sukanya Dut­taroy, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, CGB Gen­eral Man­age­ment, Swarovski In­dia

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