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IFF ’09 discusses retail expansion strategies

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“Companies who can define their strategies well, will be the leaders in the long run,” said Nikhil Chaturvedi, MD Provogue. He also stressed that India does not have recession but a lower growth rate or a rather negative growth rate. He spoke while anchoring the session on ‘fashion expansion’ and ‘fashion beyond metros’ at IFF ’09. The discussion was about finding the right retail formats like brand stores, department stores or multi-brand outlets.

Moving further, Shital Mehta, COO, Van Heusen, said, “It is important to know where my consumer is shopping, whether it is EBOs, box stores or specialty stores. So the business model becomes extremely critical.”

On the same lines, Shreyas Joshi, president, Group Apparel, Raymond expressed that routine health check for the stores is important. He also felt the need of an eye on long term gains. Sanjay Bindra, director, BIBA, pointed out that a brand can expand only when it is making profit. There needs to be a ‘consumer connect’ and the brands need to re-engineer their products accordingly.

Sharing thoughts at opportunities for fashion beyond metros, Kedar Apshankar, COO, Peter England, said, “We have got into 600 towns and cities, which show that our brand has been able to click with the consumers. The mathematics of doing business in tier II and III cities is however different.”

However, Rakesh Biyani, director, Future Group, felt that there is a need for convergence. People all across India are getting exposed to the same kind of Bollywood films for that matter. So the aspirations are quiet similar.

— Sayanti Banerjee

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