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    Retail strategies connect better with consumers


    Day two of India Fashion Forum’ 10 (IFF’10) began with the WGSN Seminar and Juliet Warkentin, content director, WGSN, UK spoke exclusively about the smart strategies followed by various retailers from across the globe, for generating good business.

    She suggested, “Get involved in story telling through your brand since a store that tells a story attracts consumers.” She also drove home the point that the customers are looking for value, quality and beauty at the same time. So she put forward her view, “If you have a good product why be boring about it.”

    From her experience of the global fashion industry, Warkentin shared key directions for the coming season and inspiration from around the world. She claimed, “Visual merchandising is very important. The impact should be such that it actually gets the consumer to stop and take a look. Making things fashionable and doing things in different ways will get your brand to perform well.” Quoting examples from across the world, she added, “Having an international appeal is also very important.” Coming to the point about product portfolio on display, she claimed, “Not everything should be expensive. The word ‘Sale’ helps to get more footfalls.”

    The other important factors pointed out by the international fashion consultant in the course of her discussion was music, merchandise mix, charity, eco-friendliness and the likes. She emphasised on the fact that music helps to generate good ambiance within a store. Hence for the new age discerning buyer, selection of tracks is an important criteria. Charity helps the consumers to get the feel that something good they are contributing for. Also retailers who support green revolution get appreciated by the modern consumers who believe in protecting the environment. Also changing the look of the store will become an interesting factor by helping the consumers to watch out for something new everytime. She stressed on the fact that the interiors have to tweaked regularly so that the consumers can expect different merchandise at the store each time.

    There was also a panel of eminent representatives from the Indian fashion industry to take the discussion forward. Agreeing to the retail guidelines laid down by Warkentin, , GM, Lighting Luminaires claimed, “Lighting plays a key role in defining the look of a store. There are also endless possibilities of exploring different combinations in generating new ambiance each time.”

    A brand like Titan has actually taken the initiative to do something different with the consumers. As a final note, Badal Suchak, head, VM shared that the brand had got the consumers involved in plotting plants across their various watch parks. He said, “The idea was to make them feel that the earth is so beautiful. It is an emotional connect and such an interaction has actually helped us to establish a better relationship with our consumers.”

    — Sayanti Banerjee, Mumbai Bureau