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Luxury brand Shazé eyes expansion in 2019; to open 8-10 EBOs

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Luxury brand Shazé, which started its journey in 2001, is on a mission to create world class designs that become the ultimate expressions of urbane life. Peculiarity, innovation has been at the core of the brand psyche since its inception.

Made for the aesthete, the connoisseur, the fashion literate and the bold; Shazé products have carved a niche in the luxury goods spectrum. By collaborating with talents from across the world, the brand amasses the most audacious and unconventional designs, thereby fabricating the very essence of its products. Each piece is carefully crafted to match the ever evolving needs of Shazé’s customers.

Shazé began as a silverware gifting brand out of one store at Hughes Road in Mumbai. Its superlative offerings were an instant hit with consumers, and this inspired the brand to broaden its range to include contemporary art jewellery as well as accessories like watches, perfumes, cufflinks and clutches. The brand also started dabbling in housing, home and office decor.

Shazé’s merchandise is priced based on seasonality of products and consumer demographics. “Our primary objective while fixing on pricing and merchandising is to meet customer expectations and deliver the best shopping experience. Pricing is not only a means to earn margins, but more importantly to assign an acceptable value for our products in the minds of our consumer,” says Founder and MD, Shazé, Samrat Zaveri.

Retail Presence & Expansion Plans

“Bolstered by the positive response we had in our initial years, we had to rapidly increase our retail presence to keep up with the demand and to be accessible to our customers across the country,” Zaveri explains. “We also needed to invest more in branding to increase awareness on Shazé.”

The brand swiftly opened 11 stores in Mumbai and went on to expand pan- India including in Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Indore, Raipur, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Goa. Today, Shazé is retailing through 24 stores, 6 SISs as well as their own website, with a target of doubling its penetration this year. “We are ambitiously looking to grow our presence in the North and East of India this year,” says Zaveri.

Aside from increasing the number of stores, the brand is also working towards increasing their store sizes from the average of 450 sq. ft. in 2019.

“Our biggest store is in Delhi is 2,300 sq. ft. Moving forward, we want to open more such destination stores to house a larger offering for our clientele,” Zaveri states.

Location Strategy

The brand likes to keep its options open, opening stores in both high streets as well as malls in a bid to expand its reach.

“We prefer both, the only consideration being the footfalls received at each location. High street strips are limited but they make the brand visible as a part of a larger premium offering. Meanwhile, malls on the other hand come with readymade footfalls since they have transformed into family entertainment centers, and are proving to be profitable for the brand,” Zaveri explains.

“Another advantage of opening a showroom in the mall means marketing spends get divided as malls help in promotions with a single objective of driving footfalls and increasing sales. It’s a collective effort between the brand and the mall management to bring the right customer to the store,” he adds.

Since India’s luxury retail sector is still nascent with only a handful of brands present in the space, one of the major challenges faced by luxury retailers is the lack of retail space for outlets to really shine. High import duties and entry barricades faced by international brands are also very daunting.

However, Zaveri is of the firm belief that all this is set to change in the next 5 years, with India becoming one of the fastest growing economies with a huge middle class population aspiring towards luxury and with a disposable income to match.

Omnichannel Presence

In keeping with this change, and with the aim of wooing the consumer who desires, and is happy to spend on luxury, the brand is turning Omnichannel. It’s strategy is simple– to have the same face for the brand at every customer touch point, be it instore, online (desktop and mobile), at exhibitions or events.

“The brand experience has to remain same for the customer everywhere,” explains Zaveri. “The recall and brand loyalty increases only when the transition of the existing customer is kept seamless at every brand interaction outlet.”

He adds that it is imperative that both channels operate in sync with each other. About 70 percent of luxury purchases today are influenced by online interactions, with shoppers partaking in at least one digital interaction with a brand before buying. E-commerce is just another avenue to sell products. With the unprecedented increase in Internet penetration and abundance of devices like mobile and tablet, online shopping has become the go-to, especially for Millennials.

“While older shoppers have traditionally been the growth engine of luxury sales, Millennials and Gen Z consumers are driving 85 percent of global luxury sales growth today, with affluent out of these two categories now representing over 30 percent of all luxury spending. To succeed, a brand needs to be wherever the customer moves – online or offline. It’s about being relevant in the lives of the consumer,” says Zaveri.

In-Store Tech Innovations

Meanwhile, digital transformations in retail technology are redefining the way these affluent consumers see shopping – as an experience. Shazé’s goal this year has been to make its stores digitally forward and enhancing what it delivers best – a real and personal shopping experience.

“We have introduced exciting in-store technology, wherein with the help of sensory-based technology, customers can browse through and interact with products, seeing all facets and features of products on a screen,” Zaveri explained. “We do everything necessary to offer a superlative experience to the consumers.”

What the Future Holds

Shazé expects to do between 50 to 60 percent growth this year over last year. The brand aims to increase its presence across the country.

“Our goal is to fast track our growth story and rapidly expand within the country and internationally. We are planning at least 8 to 10 new stores in 2019,” Zaveri concludes.

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