Post-fes­ti­val blues or cheer?

VMRD - - Contents - Vas­ant Jante Ed­i­tor & Pub­lisher

Hearti­est Di­wali wishes, friends! We just wrapped up not only In­dia’s big­gest fes­tive sea­son, but also a pe­riod of sig­nif­i­cant rev­enues for re­tail­ers! How­ever, if re­cent me­dia re­ports are any­thing to go by, then all is not hunky dory for brick-and-mor­tar re­tail­ers. This year’s Di­wali sales fig­ures only re­it­er­ate this. What’s more, it also shows that the ta­bles have been turned in favour of e-tail­ers, thanks to their merry dis­count blitz! Yes, e-com­merce, which is es­ti­mated to be only 12% of In­dia’s over­all re­tail mar­ket, has al­ready man­aged to gar­ner a big chunk of rev­enues dur­ing the most promis­ing busi­ness sea­son in the coun­try. But it’s not just about the busi­ness fig­ures. One could per­ceive a dis­tinct lack of cheer and en­thu­si­asm in the over­all vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing cre­ated by brick and mor­tar re­tail­ers dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son. Di­wali be­ing the In­dian coun­ter­part of Christ­mas, it was dis­ap­point­ing to see In­dian re­tail­ers in the off­line space curb­ing their VM bud­gets and con­se­quently churn­ing out pretty or­di­nary vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing. Check out our Di­wali VM round-up in this is­sue and you will know what I mean. Speak­ing of Di­wali, a large part of the cel­e­bra­tions in­volves home shop­ping. There­fore our Cat­e­gory Fo­cus story in this is­sue ex­plores the home re­tail­ing seg­ment. In­ter­est­ingly, two of In­dia’s lead­ing home re­tail­ers started their jour­ney from the e-com­merce chan­nel and to­day boast of a re­mark­able omni-chan­nel jour­ney. With Swedish home re­tail gi­ant Ikea’s en­try into In­dian re­tail shore, many spec­u­lated the ebbing away of ma­jor home grown brands. But the re­al­ity is far from it. This story cap­tures the ex­cite­ment in this space. Cre­at­ing a mean­ing­ful brick-and-mor­tar jour­ney of­ten takes an artsy turn with cou­turi­ers. We give you a sense of eth­nic/ bridal cou­turier Rahul Mishra’s store in Mum­bai’s own art district Kala Ghoda. The space works around sev­eral spa­tial re­stric­tions to emerge as one stun­ning ar­ti­sanal space. We also caught Koskii, a re­gional eth­nic fash­ion brand on its way to scal­a­bil­ity through a new store de­sign ID. Omni-chan­nel seems to be the name of the game for ev­ery lead­ing brand to­day. Footwear brand Nike has al­most made his­tory with their shop­per un­der­stand­ing and craft­ing hy­per­local store ex­pe­ri­ences. Their lat­est feat is at Shang­hai, China. Just take a look! Plus as usual, we have a num­ber of ex­perts talk­ing on the var­ied as­pects of re­tail de­sign - from ar­chi­tec­tural ma­te­ri­als and in-store com­mu­ni­ca­tion to a ca­reer in vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing. Hope you find some handy tips there. Fi­nally, here’s hop­ing that there’s plenty of cheer, joy, light and pros­per­ity all around. Happy read­ing!

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