The key to success
Cut-throat competition can squeeze margins, and so retailers today need a concept that is unique and compelling, something which makes the competition irrelevant. They then need to implement it in a way that a loyal customer base is created and the quality should be so high that competition should be unable to execute the same idea. If a retailer is able to do this successfully, he has managed to create a concept store!
A recent news report stated that over the next five years, the annual growth rate of the retail industry will be around 40 per cent and that of specialty retail would be between 40-50 per cent.
Managing Director, S T Unicom, Navin Kanodia, says “India is in a very interesting phase and concept retailing has immense opportunity, especially in the lifestyle category. Lifestyle as a category is best expressed with innovation and experience. It is even more in case of décor and accessories, where touch and feel matter the most. The concept and essence of both are very different. Specialty retail is all about a having a strong concept to offer and which also gives a rare, personalized personal experience of shopping.”
Here’s a list of X retail stores that have understood the idea of and implemented concept retailing brilliantly.
S T Unicom’s Spacio is designed as an ‘experience store’ which allows the customer to soak in the ambience and get inspirational ideas to decorate their homes. Says Kanodia, “The customer can feel the product before making the ﬁnal decision.”
He adds, “The Indian retail market is extremely competitive and going forward innovation in going to be the key differentiator if one wants to stand out in the crowd. I think the brands should focus on the collection rather than segmentisation.
Spacio’s swanky stores house an eclectic collection of 20 iconic brands from 15 countries. They are impeccably designed and cater to the city’s growing demand for high end luxury decor and complements. Carrying the signature style of the brand, the store interiors reflect contemporary styling at its best.
Just For Clocks
Just For Clocks is India’s ﬁrst specialty retail chain store for clocks. Launched in 2015 by the S T Unicom group. The idea behind the concept was to redefine the Indian designer clock market, bring clocks from all designer brands under one roof.
The store offers 13 international brands including NeXtime, Nomon, Tothora, Progetti, Haoshi, and Karlsson. Internationally, these brands are known for creative excellence and amazing product innovation.
The store is home to the most unusual and creative clocks from all over the world, with the largest collection of branded fashion clocks in the country. From classy to sassy, quirky to witty, Just For Clocks has clocks that compliment every personality.
Boutique-On-Wheels was launched by Corporate Collars™ in 2013 to fill in the space created by the lack of options for time-bound custom tailored clothes. The target audience – men and women who wish to strike a balance between price and quality.
The brand has stores at Altamount Road, Bandra-Kurla Complex and Juhu. Apart from this, they gave Corporate Collars on Wheels, a mobile van that has been customized to house all the facilities that the brand offers at any of its traditional brick-and-mortar outlets.
People can fix an appointment, head to the parking area near your office (or home), choose a fabric, get measured and get your shirt in roughly 48 hours. The van itself is compact but well done up.
The van offers a personal stylist who assists you in choosing the right cut for your body type. They’ve even managed to squeeze in a trial room. Decking up here will set you back Rs 18,000 for a suit and Rs 2,000 for a pair of pants or a shirt.
Founder Corporate Collars™, Harsh Chheda says, “Corporate Collars™ on Wheels was conceptualized when I realized that I wasted a lot of time commuting in Mumbai. It struck me that a lot of my customers faced the same problem while attempting to visit my stores and so I thought it would be a neat idea to have the store visit them instead. It was a far-fetched idea that I chased and I’m glad that I could implement it effectively. I can now cater in a far more efﬁcient manner to my customers.”
Goli Vada Pav
Goli Vada Pav is an Indian QSR whose success story is based on a unique concept.
The Indian ethnic snack chain, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, is positioned as an alternative to traditional fast food and rivals the conventional burger. The franchise retail chain store has now grown to a Rs 15 crore business which plans to make a multi-fold jump to Rs 180 crore with the opening of 500 outlets pan-India.
The brand has pioneered many concepts that have been followed by other players like use of back-end technology to produce a cost effective, hygienic and standardized product.
Speaking on brand journey Co-founder and CEO Goli Vada Pav, Venkatesh Iyer says, “We have consciously expanded to markets where people were not aware of a dish called vada pav. We set up stores in cities like Porbandar, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, and Kolkata and built the vada pav category within the QSR segment.”
Heads Up For Tails
Heads Up For Tails is yet another brand which is vouching for the promising future of concept-based retailing in India.
The startup makes a line of upscale, utility-based products for pets with a strong focus on design. This includes products such as dog beds, apparel, collars, accessories, toys, grooming products, treats, as well as a line for pet lovers. There is also a strong focus on customisation and personalisation based on what the customer is looking for.
Founder Heads Up For Tails, Rashi Narang says, “I started Heads Up For Tails in 2008 when I was unable to ﬁnd quality products for my pet. I started with just five SKUs of gorgeous dog beds that looked lovely in one’s home. Over time, with feedback from customers, we designed and developed a lot of new products. We now have over 2000 SKUs in the categories of dog collars, accessories, toys, grooming products, treats, and pet lover products.”
Narang says it’s all about standing out not blending in.
“When we started, most people told us that it would never work! But you have to go with your gut, innovate to create something very special and then leave it to the universe!”