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All That Jazz: India’s First Experiential Retail Store

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is positioned as retail spa where shoppers don’t just buy clothes or accessories but also enliven their shopping experience. Read more about the exclusive concept.

Founded in early 1970s in Orissa, Jas Group has incredibly evolved through the sands of time. Starting out as textile retailer, today its business interests span hospitality, automobiles, construction, fashion retail and distribution sectors. As regards to fashion business, the group has been instrumental in making Orissa an emerging fashion capital in eastern India through its foray into distribution, franchising and retail of renowned clothing and accessories brands. Today, it has substantial presence across the state via 30 exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) of UCB, Levi’s, Puma and in-house brand Ethny. Known for its flair for innovation and unique business acumen, Jas Group has come up with yet another one-of-its- kind retail concept namely, All That Jazz (ATJ) which is India’s first multi-brand experiential retail store.

Shedding light on the concept, , CEO, All That Jazz says, “ATJ is our foray into multi-brand format without compromising on the brand equity of our exclusive brand outlets. The concept deals only in international casual, sports and lifestyle fashion brands across categories which make it unique. It’s a perfect blend of the finest hospitality experience with retail platform. ATJ has a DNA of its own and hence is different from anything else in the market.”

The Concept

ATJ was born out of Jas Group’s rich experience as distributor and franchisee of major clothing and accessories brands like Reebok, Nike, Puma, UCB, etc. Taking business to the next level, it launched ATJ, a multi-brand retail format based on shop-in-shop (SIS) business model whereby various brand outlets are placed within ATJ store. Hura  explicates the rationale behind SIS model, “We would like to increase sales from same store rather than service from 50 points and the shop-in-shop business model provides more control on retailing. As such, it will help us to grow ATJ brand faster since the retail hygiene is much better in SIS format. Moreover, the model will facilitate opening of multi-brand outlets even in tier – III cities where perhaps an exclusive outlet or EBO is not viable.”

The first ATJ store was rolled out in August 2012 in Puri (Bhubaneshwar). It instantly captured the imagination of fashion aficionados of the region. Encouraged by the response, it launched two more stores in 2013, one each in Patia and Janpath in Bhubneshwar. All are large format stores. By the end of December 2013, with average monthly per sq.ft. sales of `1,380 and same store growth of 53 percent, ATJ’s total annual turnover reached `4,400 lakh. In January 2014, it opened one more outlet, a ‘Mini’ format, in Kharvel Nagar, Janpath. As of now, the brand operates four stores spread over 29,800 sq.ft. space in Orissa.

Brands and Products

ATJ is a pioneer in bringing in a barrage of international brands in casual, sports and lifestyle segment in the region of Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, Chattisgarh. It has most recognisable labels in its kitty such as Levi’s, Nike, Puma, United Colours of , US Polo, CK, FCUK, CAT, , Veromoda, Only, Pieces, W, Sisiley, Caterpillar, , Manchester United, Gant, Chicco, Nautica, , Being Human, Gas, Roxy, Quicksilver, Kenneth Cole, etc. Comments, Hura, “We have world’s finest premium brands in various product categories as in apparel, footwear, accessories, perfumes, watches, sunglasses and jewellery to offer to our esteemed customers. Such an assorted mix of brands and merchandise that are unique and cater to the aspirational needs of youth, who are value conscious rather than price conscious, has made ATJ, a brand to reckon with.”

ATJ also hosted Caterpillar’s first SIS in the country, apprises Hura and states, “We are proud of the fact that Caterpillar has opened its first SIS in India with us. Considering that we are based in Orissa, thus, getting the brand before Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore is a great tribute to the concept of ATJ and the confidence bestowed by various brands on it.” The retailer is among the firsts to introduce designer sunglasses labels namely Prada, Bvlgari, Gucci into tier – II cities in India. It also deals in known perfumes brands Chambor, Prada, Versace, Bvlgari.

Key Differentiators

Nowadays, retailers find it ever more difficult to attract and retain customers. So, they need to find innovative ways to allure them. The major pull at ATJ is its selection and presentation of brands that lends it not only a unique marketing perception but also leading edge over rivals. Stocking the best mix of luxury global brands, the store is a one-stop solution for all shopping needs of fashion forward consumers who would settle for nothing less than the best whether they are buying designer, sports or simply casual clothing, footwear or accessories.

Additionally, ATJ has found its niche in providing ‘experiential retail solutions’ and has positioned itself as a ‘retail spa’ for those who love ‘retail therapy’. Affirms Hura, “At ATJ, we have strived to imbibe hospitality with retail to create fun-filled shopping environment. We don’t sell products but the experience! Our stores resonate with welcoming and relaxed shopping environment wherein customers are treated as guests and not just buyers. Also, we have free in-house tea, coffee and mineral water  arrangement so that customers can enjoy their shopping experience.”

The services at ATJ stores are customer-centric and customers are regarded as individuals having own distinctive style and personality. “Every detail and facet of presentation has been designed to create ambience of independence. The VM initiatives enable customers to understand the looks proposed and help them select sizes, colours and combinations swiftly and effortlessly. We also extend nanny services to parents who are accompanied by small children so that they can shop comfortably. Moreover, sales consultant escorts every customer with shopping bag to parking”, Hura sums up.

In June 2013, ATJ accomplished yet another feat when it was conferred “Rising Power brand” status at Las Vegas, USA. It was recognised as Eastern India’s best fashion MBO at Images Awards 2014 and also inducted to IFF Fashion Forward League at India Fashion Forum 2014.

Business Dynamics

The MBO format of ATJ has drawn inspiration essentially from group’s EBO model. According to Hura, each SIS in the MBO is treated as small standalone store just like EBO vis-àvis fixtures, visual merchandising, display, promotion, etc. He quips, “Business wise, ATJ’s MBOs or SIS format have several commercial and non commercial benefits. Putting in brand fixtures is the first step to secure space for a brand which allows better visual merchandising and display. Besides this, it facilitates additional margins, enhanced focus of the distributor for weekly re-fill, greater staff support and daily sales tracking to enable better sell throughs.

In such a scenario, ATJ model scores over normal MBO in terms of both sales and revenues.” Moreover, the retailer works in tandem with suppliers as Hura shares, “We provide inventory related data to our suppliers in real time. Additionally, we keep them updated on various demand and sales within the store and cities which helps them in planning optimal supplies for us.” He discloses that at ATJ, the buying team gets regular feedback from sales team as well as data of previous season in terms of sales pattern as regards to stock purchase.

Its visual merchandising team and consultant ensure that VM initiatives are in-line with international standards. Another key business stratagem is to keep sound employee relations. Hura believes that employees are one of the most critical aspects of ATJ’s business because how so ever modern retail is, human interface is still very important.

Technology Integration

Technology, the part and parcel of today’s modern retail environment, has as well found its way into ATJ’s day-to-day operations. At store level, entire back-end and front-end  integration is done through Shoppers 9 ERP module that enables them to send automated sales reports along with various key performance indicators (KPIs) like upt, avu, sspd to their suppliers on daily basis thus providing them real time information. Hura adds, “Moreover, we synchronise with supplier EAN codes, which means, we can run exactly the same offer they are running pan India. This helps in replenishments.”

The company utilises customer relationship management (CRM) system to analyse customer buying patterns and effectively uses it for repeat purchase and for changes in visual merchandising based on slow movers. It also uses in-store merchandise management (ISMM) for maximising realisation at highest price. Consequentially, the burden of end-of-season sale is reduced to great extent. Hura also foresees sea change pertaining to store operations in the next 3 to 5 years. As per him, in the coming years, the portable POS integration with main server will give real time information on sales and stock replenishment. It will allow better communication and monitoring of MBOs that would increasingly resemble EBOs in terms of look and feel, he says.

Customer Engagement

Acknowledging that the brand conscious youngsters are the real drivers of retail revolution, the company mainly targets clientele between 16 and 35 years of age. It offers them carefully selected labels which are not just aspirational but affordable and have wider appeal among them. Hura claims that ATJ fulfils their urge to experience something different each day of their life. The brand actively uses social media like Facebook to connect with them and also engages them via below-the-line activities including campus activation, billboards and contests.

In a short span of time, the brand has touched 15,000 loyal customers; birthday mailers, promo codes, special day offers are sent to them. The retailer also runs unique client relationship management programmes namely ATJ ‘Select’ for which there is neither a joining fee nor a minimum purchase is required. The rewards under the scheme comprise discounts, complementary gifts or cake served on special occasions such as kids’ birthdays. It provides opportunity of getting featured in billboards across the city to eligible members. The ‘Select’ card holders are also entitled to exchange merchandise within 15 days of purchase.

What’s in store?

Following its success in home market, All That Jazz is now gearing for expansion into other parts of the country. Alongside large stores, it plans to establish outlets under ‘Mini’ format as well. It already operates one small sized store in Janpath and will soon open two more small formats which will be mens only stores. One will be located in Cuttack (Orissa) and another in Ranchi (Jharkhand). As regards to ATJ’s growth plans Hura says, “With ATJ’s unique and distinguished concept, we have earned the trust of lakhs of patrons. Its unique positioning as retail spa has helped us gain a considerable share in Odisha market. We now endeavour to make our presence felt not only in Eastern India but entire country.”

The brand’s next stores are likely to be rolled out in Kolkata, Patna and Lavasa in Pune. Furthermore, going aggressive with its expansion plans, it mulls to open 20 large format stores all over India in the near future. As per industry sources ATJ is in talks with various private equity firms to raise capital to support its next phase of growth.