With the Omnichannel mantra gaining ground in India and consumers living in a parallel digital and physical worlds, brands are fast turning the spotlight on their e-strategies.
One such brand is textile major Raymond Apparel, which plans to launch its Omnichannel strategy within one year.
In an exclusive chat with Indiaretailing Bureau’s Charu Lamba, President of Raymond Apparel, Gaurav Mahajan says, “We are already working extensively on it. We always have a very good pulse of our customers and we have also, just like everybody else, sensed opportunity, taking note of the manner in which our customers are adopting and living in digital and physical worlds simultaneously.”
“We have tremendous focus at this point in time on Raymond’s digital footprint. We not necessarily come up with a pure play online portal. We are incorporating digital in all aspects of the business. We have dedicated resources which are working on digital technology. It is in the laboratory stage at this point and you will see the first results emerging very soon. We intend for it to be not just incremental development and growth within Raymond, we expect it to be a break through,” he adds.
Witnessing Indian Retail’s Transformation
The brand started its journey in 1925, being a part of the transformation that Indian retail underwent over the years.
Raymond was one of the first companies to usher in the concept of modern retail in India. At a time when large format retail was not prevalent, the company was not only setting up the idea of high quality retail experiences but was also a pioneer in of setting up collaborations as well as franchising.
Mahajan says, “Raymond has built a footprint of over 1,000 stores across 400 towns in the country making it the largest lifestyle fashion retailer in terms of network. Our franchise network is not only the largest in the country but also one of the most engaged ones. We have always been ahead of times as far as modern retail is concerned.”
This year, the creator of the ‘Complete Man’ is re-positioning itself as the ’90 Years Young Brand’ to woo younger customers.
“We are an iconic brand who stand for heritage, trust, impeccable quality. We have always been at the forefront of excellence in product and product innovation. We now hope to contemporise India’s retail environment and also to some extent our own product portfolio to keep in step with new age customers,” adds Mahajan.
The company, which is into fabrics and branded apparel, is also looking forward to foraying into women’s wear soon, reveals Mahajan.
He says, “This (women’s wear) is not a forgone conclusion yet but it is something that is under consideration.”
Making A Hybrid
According to Mahajan, “By 2020, I anticipate that a lot of pure play offline retailers would have figured out how to operate successfully and meaningfully in the online world. On the other side, online players – both large and small – will also manage to successfully venture into the offline space. Hybrid retail formats will be the need of the hour. Many companies have already hit the drawing board to try and seamlessly merge their online-offline formats. I think some clear, winning formats should emerge over the next few years.”
“I think retail is going to be an extremely exciting and dynamic space to be in over the next few years. Technology will have a massive influence on the evolution of retail, disrupting distinct models much faster than anyone will be able to anticipate,” he concludes.