COO, Lavie- Bagzone Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd.
Favorite Indian store on the parameters of Visual Merchandising, Interior Design, Windows Display, Lighting, In-store Technology & Engagement Drivers:
The stores from the eclectic Indian brand Chumbak is my favourite. It has vibrancy and has inviting look. Their diverse visual experience is a treat, every store is unique and different from the other. They stand true to their philosophy - Make it a happy place! From the window display to the interior, the store provides an experience with kitsch designs, iconic props and eccentric visuals.
Favorite global store on the same parameters:
It has to be Bergdorf Goodman, a luxury department store situated in New York City. It is known for its extravagant window displays especially during holiday seasons. Each display is thought through and has a theme. The intricacies of the design are astonishing! What really impresses me is that all the elements of the visuals fit so seamlessly. I am awed by the mannequins in stylish
Role of Franchising as a way of expanding a brand’s retail footprint:
Franchising enables to reach a varied set of audience enabling faster growth for the business. Lavie understands the importance of franchising from business point of view. The brand is positioned very strongly in the handbag sector in India and expansion is the next step to grow the business. We want to reach out to Tier II & III cities but running operations in these regions can be done best by people who have the local expertise, this is where franchising comes in.
Important points to be kept in mind in choosing the right franchiser/ franchise:
For us, it has always been about relationship building than just business. We definitely want to work on long term basis with the franchisers. It is a two way street, the franchiser needs to be as enthusiastic about the brand as we are. We need to see that drive and passion along with great organizational skills.
Challenges/shifts in buying behavior in the retail industry:
One of the biggest challenges in the retail industry is finding the right staff, retaining them and ensuring they buy into the
vision of the business. Human resource is an inevitable part of a business, it is important that they understand and positively work towards the growth of the organisation. Thus, it becomes important to get the right people on board. Finding, owning and justifying the return on investment of a retail space is critical for all the retail brands. Another major challenge that we face is to find the right retail space and nurture it. Solving these dynamic problems is what separates those who excel from the companies who are closing the doors.
Different from the Rest:
One of the key factors that we had in our minds was to focus on the market trends and customer preferences. It has helped us introduce the products which imbibe great utility, comfort and style. We ensure that we create shopping experience to fit the psyche of our target market. We strive to adapt to the changing shopping experience and surprise our customers with customized promotional benefits. We are driven by the dynamics of the online market, focusing on the changing times and adapting our marketing strategy as per today’s time. We have collaborated with big celebrities like Sonakshi Sinha, Disha Patani, Nargis Fakhri, Neha Dhupia and so on as part of our influencer program. We also have a list of celebrities as our brand ambassadors like Kareena Kapoor, Kanganaranaut and now Anushka Sharma. We are working very differently with our new brand ambassador, social media being the core medium of promotion.
Our plan is to grow retail footprints (includes our EBOS and Franchisees) to 75 points from existing 30 in a years’ time. We are focused to strengthen the distribution business to cover the smaller cities in India.