Natural cosmetics company Lotus has recently forayed into retail by opening two EBOs in Delhi- NCR at the Great India Place mall in Noida, and the International departure lounge at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Nitin Passi, Director, Lotus Herbals in a conversation with Indiaretailing.com, talks about his new endeavour in the retail segment and the future course of action for the retail business.
What has been the expansion strategy so far and how have you been able to make ‘Lotus’ a name to reckon with in such a short span of time?
Today the brand has expanded its presence pan India with more than 50,000 retail outlets across the country, stocking our products. We plan to grow our presence substantially year on year and our foray into domestic retail is a testimony to our expansion plans.
At the heart of the Lotus brand, is product innovation and formulation science combined with the use of the best natural ingredients available. When the products are of top class quality and available at reasonable price points, the result is there for everyone to see.
Recently, you have opened your exclusive ‘Lotus’ stores? What has been the main reason behind taking this pragmatic step?
The current retail environment in our country is very cluttered and we feel many retailers lack the expertise and imagination to showcase a natural beauty brand, to the best of its ability. We needed to provide a total brand experience to our customers. Hence, the ‘Lotus’ stores were conceptualised and are now operational.
Will you retail your consumer products and professional products under the same roof?
Only the consumer line will be retailed at our EBOs. Products from the professional range are retailed only through select salons and spas across the country.
Please tell us in brief about your store design. How your store design talks about brand’s personality?
The Lotus Herbals Exclusive Brand Outlets reflect the brand’s modern aesthetics with the focus on color palette, visuals and mood boards that enhance the brand experience. Our store design is customer-centric with focus on experimentation and trials. The design is in sync with our brand values of openness, nature, and innovation.
What is the average store size for Lotus stores?
The size of our current retail format is 100 to 300 sq.ft.
What is the manpower employed at each store?
We have 3-5 people per store depending upon the size of the store and the traffic it generates.
Will you prefer malls, high streets, or residential markets for opening your new stores?
We will prefer malls followed by high streets, across metros and mini metros. These retail destinations generate high footfall and, therefore, greater visibility for our brand.
Please tell us about your retail expansion plans? Which all cities are on your radar for expansion?
We are targeting all metros and mini-metros, across the country and will establish our presence in these cities, in a phased manner.
Which are your highest selling items?
Our make-up range is doing extremely well and within the make-up range, lip colors and lip glosses are our best sellers. Having said that our skincare range is also extremely popular amongst consumers.
What new innovations do you plan to make ‘Lotus’ a bigger name in Indian skincare and cosmetics market?
We are a company that prides itself in R&D and we will soon introduce various new concepts in make-up. Some of them are real innovations at the product level. Watch out for them in the next six months!
What are your retail expansion plans?
In the near future, Lotus Herbals plans to open more exclusive stores in Delhi and Mumbai and has set a target of opening 20 EBOs in the current financial year.
Any plan for international expansion?
We continue to make in-roads in the neighboring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Apart from that, we are also expanding our presence in the middle east and have introduced Lotus at Carrefour UAE and Lulu’s Super-centers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.