“Shopping malls, today, are just not assembly of shops. There is a need to think the key factors like customer segment, preferences, culture and location in a set up. Effective store designs have made brands successful and will be the key to success for the retail industry,” said Ahsin Rasheed, senior partner development, Design Group, USA.
Rasheed was speaking in regard to the current retail scenerio in India at the second day of India Fashion Forum 2009 (IFF ’09). The session emphasised on understanding of the geography, demographics, market dynamics, right format and the right retail mix to put the spin back in retailing. The session was anchored by Pranay Singh, director, Star Shopping Centres, who emphasised on the need for the right approach towards designing of shopping centres and malls.
Indranil Goswami, GM, Philips and head, Lighting Design and Application Centre (LIADAC) said, “Each part of the store design has to convey the same story and should also blend with the image of the brand. Lighting being a crucial part of store designing enhances the imagery of the product by capturing customer’s attention.”
The session was followed by a panel discussion on maximising profits and driving results which was anchored by Mark Fox, chairman and CEO, Novator. Among the panelists were Manish Saksena, COO, Tommy Hilfiger, India, Zeena Freeman, CEO, Peter England People, Arun Gupta, CTO, Shoppers Stop and Vijay Jain, CEO, Orra.
Retail consultant Sian Hession started the session by throwing light on six key attributes to create well known brands that include brand clarity, understanding the target audience, distinctive product, strong competitive position, strong management team and leadership.
Commenting on change in current shopping patterns, Arun Gupta said, “Customers will continue to shop as long as they see value and need. Today the priority for every retailer in the country is to study shopping behaviours, trends, adopt technology and engage with the customers differently.”
Adding to the same, Pradeep Hirani, chairman, Kimaya Fashions had an interesting and encouraging perspective when he said, “Kimaya has tripled its footprints in the last one year by focusing our advantage areas.” He further said that real estate price is at an all time low now and his company has been utilising the opportunity by openning more stores during the period.
— IndiaRetailing Bureau