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On Day II, IFF 2011 takes up challenges faced by retail industry

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On the concluding day of India Fashion Forum 2011, the discussions revolved around the trends, prospects and challenges faced by the fashion retail industry. Organised by IMAGES Group, the two-day event (February 17-18) is being held at The Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai.

Speaking on the future of retail concepts, designs and trends, Catherine Lurault, lifestyle marketing, Nelly Rodi, said, "Today’s consumers do not want impersonal and universal offers from the brand. Things have to make sense and the consumer needs proximity."

Touching upon local and global aspects, she stressed, "The retail strategy is evolving and consumers are considered as the heart of every retail strategy."

Lurault also said social networking was becoming an important tool for marketers, and many more things will become virtual in the fashion retail industry. "A lot of unusual service and innovation is required and also the brands need to reinvent themselves," she added.

During the second session, "CEOs Conclave: Home Improvement", the discussion started with the responsibility of modern home retail and the challenges faced by the organised sector.

The panelists were of the view that customers’ expectations were evolving and they were now expecting a complete home solution. "Therefore, value differentiation in all attributes, delivering customer-centric services and changing according to supply requirement are key factors in the home retail industry," they agreed.

The audience saw industry stalwarts – Mark Ladham, president, home business, Future Group; Hiten Parekh, ED, @home, Nilkamal; Rajiv Handa, director and CEO, Welspun Retail; Mahesh Shah, CEO, Home Town; Anil S Mathur, COO, Godrej Interio; D K Jairath, COO, Hindware Home Retail (Evok); and Arun Bhawsingka, VP, domestic, Bombay Dyeing.

In another session during the day, "Fashion Marketers Conclave", the discussion started off with the definition of marketing. The conclave also took up the need to increase fashion demand and consumption.

The panelists included Abhishek Ganguly, ED – sales & marketing, Puma India; Andy Champbell, chief brand officer, Reliance Retail; Vipul Mathur, head, marketing, VP Corp; and Gaurav Bhuwan, head – marketing, (Tanishq), Titan Industries.

Retail Entrepreneurs Conclave was an interesting session of the day. During the session, the panelists discussed the major challenges of being an entrepreneur.

High rentals, human resource and acquiring funds emerged as main challenges faced by retail entrepreneurs in the current scenario. The conclave also discussed ways to overcome those challenges.

The panelists included Sanjay Sahni, Big Life Ritu Wears; Darpan Kapoor, Kapsons; Dharmesh Patel, Options; Manohar Chatlani, Favourite Shop and Soch; Swastika Jalan, Sohum Shoppe; Sharad Suri, Chunmun; Jitendra Chauhan, Jade Blue; Harish Kumar, Neeru’s; H S Sindhu, Credo Brands; Vivek Shah, Roopam; Vinay Kumar, Standard Max; Asim Dalal, MD, Bombay Store; and Tayab Bhai, Owner, Alpha.

– IndiaRetailing Bureau

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