Who would have thought that even a segment such as Tyres would look at retail positioning and experience zones in a big way! But that is exactly what Michelin Tyres has done with its new concept stores. Point of Purchase gives you more details on this.
Michelin Tyres has launched its concept store TYREPLUS in Ahmedabad recently. The new launch is a part of the company’s expansion of its network of distributors in Gujarat through a state-of-the-art concept store. Highlighting the idea behind this new concept store, B. Kumar, Country Distribution Manager, Michelin India, said: “At Michelin, we are proactively looking to expand our operations in India as it’s a key market for us. Under the TYREPLUS program, we aim to look at states with high mobility presence and Gujarat is one of the important centers. We already have a TYREPLUS store in Surat and thus Ahmedabad was a natural choice going by the tremendous opportunities in the city. It is the largest city in the state and fifth largest in India. Due to high industrial movement, the automobile market in Ahmedabad is booming and it has registered a tremendous growth in the past years. Thus we want to expand our foothold with the launch of this new TYREPLUS outlet.” Located in the premium central place behind Grand Bhagwati, ‘Check Point’ TYREPLUS store is highlighted by its workshop which provides state-ofthe-art facilities with fully equipped machinery installed. The store also offers various tyre products and accessories for customers. For better servicing, the store comprises a team of skilled executives who have undergone skill improvement trainings to provide better assistance and a pleasant experience to the customers whenever they visit the store. “This new concept is a global concept and is hugely successful in other countries where it has been implemented. This prompted us to evaluate the format for India. The objective of the program is to enhance the consumer experience and making available as many tyres and related services under one roof at affordable prices,” says Kumar. Michelin has seen this as an opportunity for a consumer to walk into a store which offers a superior ambience to conventional tyre shops and offers to them a need identification which can be addressed using modern equipments to actually enhance their driving experience, besides improving the longevity and help in reducing the total cost of ownership. Adds Kumar, “Our main motive and driving force is to provide our customers with the very best products and services. These remain the key elements behind any step and it inspires us to work better and give the customers a great experience of Michelin tyres and services. We want to make every step of our customer easy and unique, right from the moment they walk in to the store.” Under the TYREPLUS program, the company strives to provide world-class facilities like a workshop with the latest machinery to take care of any tyre and vehicle related problem. Under the onestop-shop concept, TYREPLUS offers a variety of quick automotive services helping customers to minimize the time and effort involved in maintaining their vehicles. When asked to define the USP of this store, Kumar maintains that the USP is definitely the “all under one roof”
concept and the excellent ambience provided to customers. “At Michelin TYREPLUS, we are trying to change the way people perceive tyre related issues, garage problems, repairing workshops and its experience. We are constantly trying to innovate and make this experience amiable and pleasant with sound assistance from our staff.” The company has installed software at the TYREPLUS stores which captures the information of a customer coming into the store including the brand of tyre purchased as well as the services availed. The TYREPLUS stores offer a consumer an array of brands to choose from and trained staff who can enumerate the benefits of each of the tyres. “We believe that a more discerning customer chooses Michelin as the right choice based on the benefits explained to him. This mechanism helps us in providing reminders to our consumers on their service needs,” shares Mr. B. Kumar. Michelin has reached a total network of 19 TYREPLUS outlets in India located across the country, namely, Nasik, Tirupur, Pune, Faridabad, Vijayawada, Madurai, Ahmednagar, Jaipur, Surat and Haridwar. Apart from these, there are two stores in Bangalore, two in Delhi, two in Mumbai, two in Hyderabad and now one in Ahmedabad which makes it two stores in Gujarat as well. “With the opening of our new store our focus right now is entirely on the existing stores across the country, however, we will keep coming out with timely updates for any announcements in the future,” quips Mr. B. Kumar. Speaking about the future of such concept stores in India, Mr. B. Kumar feels that the market and the industry are getting competitive each and every day. “With many players and a variety of offerings, the prime motive behind
With many players and a variety of offerings, the prime motive behind opening such stores is to combine all automobile related services under one roof to give our customers a hasslefree experience. Thus to sustain customers in keeping them happy and satisfied, constant innovations have to be made and unique experiences have to be
opening such stores is to combine all automobile related services under one roof to give our customers a hassle-free experience. Thus to sustain customers in keeping them happy and satisfied, constant innovations have to be made and unique experiences have to be provided,” he says matter-of-factly. “Concept stores are the newly evolved form of garages/workshops/tyre stores where all tyre-related needs can be taken care of under one roof. These stores are here to stay, and we as a brand, believe that we can create that experience for our customers which will keep them happy. This is the modus operandi of our concept stores,” shares Mr. B. Kumar. For the Indian tyre market, these kinds of concept stores are definitely a new experience as consumers and their attitude towards automotive products; services, etc. are forever changing. Such concept stores are here to give structure to the otherwise unorganized fragmented and cluttered segment of automotive repair and services. “Local vendors are definitely popular but customers are looking for ambience, one-stopshops, assistance, etc. when it comes to tyre-related issues. So yes, Indian tyre market vis-à-vis concept stores are growing,” confides Mr. B. Kumar. Challenges were aplenty while designing this concept store in Ahmedabad and according to Mr. B. Kumar that includes availability of skilled resources, presence of a strong local market, pricing and affordability factors, etc. He says, “Since the idea of such concept stores are relatively new, one has to stay alert and aware of all the above mentioned factors and work through them to deliver commitments.” But one good thing about the Indian automobile industry is that it has shown a positive growth in the last few years and sales are expected to grow by 10-12 percent in FY 12-13. Mr. B. Kumar concludes on a positive note saying that this is a positive indication for retail as well as the overall industry growth which will benefit all retail stores. “This means more employment, better facilities and increase in investment. As retail and dealership network grows, India is surely slated to become one of the topmost automobile hubs.”