Shree – The Indian Avatar, is a fast track ethnic wear fashion brand catering to the modern Indian woman. Unlike many other brands Shree celebrates womanhood and continuously works towards bringing the rich culture of India to its customers through its collections. Designers, inspired by various Indian cities, strive to nurture all things India, and showcase them in the store ensembles.
The brand, which was adjudged Emerging Franchiser of The Year at IMAGES Fashion Awards 2018, started operations two years ago and prides itself on revealing a new story through clothes to its consumers every week.
Going from strength to strength, Shree, today, boasts of 2,500+ PoS including 28 EBOs and 150 MBOs, making it one of the fastest growing independent clothing brands in India at present.
Unique Business Model
The brand operates its business in a unique way. Following a points-of-sale-based strategy, Shree manages to curtail a lot of its marketing spend. For the coming fiscal year, FY 2018-2019 the brand plans to limit its marketing spend to about Rs 3.5 crore – at least initially.
“The last fiscal year, 2017-18, was a remarkably impressive year for the brand, which recorded an unprecedented growth of 68-70 percent – something that they aim to maintain going forward. Consecutively, we also recorded a growth of 35 percent annually, and has already hit its five-year Compound Annual Growth Rate target of 43 percent,” says Sandeep Kapoor, Managing Director Shree – The Indian Avatar.
The extraordinary growth has spurred expansion plans, with the brand hoping to double its store count to 56 this fiscal. For now, the average size of a Shree store is around 400 sq. ft., but the brand is looking at adding larger outlets to its existing cluster, measuring up to 1,500 sq. ft. per store.
The brand started retail operations in North India, since the North is ideal for ethnic wear. The market has brought them the largest number of consumers till date. This year, with the vision of making Shree a household name and connect with consumers through its fine craftsmanship, affordable pricing and high-quality products, the brand plans to expand pan-India.
“In the next two years, we see ourselves expanding to at least 200 outlets pan-India. We plan to swell our retail reach in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh,” says Kapoor.
“We are already present in many smaller cities through our proficient distribution channel. Last week, we successfully launched a store in Nawashehar, Punjab and one store in Greater Noida. We are primarily focussing on smaller cities this year, with the aim of opening up more than 20 stores in Tier II and Tier III cities and towns,” he explains.
Here, he further states, the store size will be different, depending on space availability and customer demand for the collection. Stores will ideally be sized anywhere between 300 to 800 sq. ft.
The brand’s main focus is to remain affordable and relevant to the consumer by ensuring their operating costs are lower than the actual price they sell clothes at.
“We offer up to 120 new styles every month without compromising on quality. The price range of our casual wear range starts from Rs 799 and goes up to Rs 1599 and evening wear starts from Rs 1599 to goes up to Rs 2999,” says Kapoor.
In an effort to keep a handle on operating costs, Shree prefers high streets in terms of location.
“High street pretty much guarantees footfalls all seven days in a week. We don’t need to fluctuate customer attention, and we are able to leverage our brand better. Our ideal location is main markets that are crowded with women who are shopping for their daily needs and are regular visitors to that market,” states Kapoor.
An Omnichannel-Friendly Strategy
The future of retail is Omnichannel. An Omnichannel strategy will enable a brand to grow, tap the best of both worlds and maximise on footfalls.
“Omnichannel has been termed as the new format for staying ahead in the game. We certainly plan to be a part of this evolving strategy and have begun creating a totally flawless shopping experience, whether it’s in store or through our website. We have worked towards welcoming the e-commerce era with open arms, seeing it as a part of retail and not as a challenge since we understand it is essential to creating a robust business strategy,” says Kapoor.
Currently, Shree uses centralised inventory management systems. It has also ramped up on the technology front. From end-to-end ERP system to monitor procurement, production, inventory, warehouse management, billing and distribution, finance and payroll to cloud-based retail POS systems, Shree is in line with all modern technologies.
“Our entire tech mechanism is well-planned and constructed in a manner that ensures all departments are synced for maximum output. We do use various BI tools and are currently in the process of implementing SAP B1. We are also planning to invest a marginal amount of Rs 60 to 70 lakh this year in upgrading all our existing technologies,” Kapoor concludes.