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fabindia bets big on experience centres, to open 30 more by 2020

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Following a tremendous response for its Experience Centres, , India’s largest lifestyle retail brand, has recently launched its third Experience Centre in New Delhi-NCR. Located at Lajpat Nagar, one of Delhi’s most popular shopping destinations, the store is spread across two floors and covers an area of 11,397 sq. ft. It is designed to cater to every age group and their distinct needs.

fabindia bets big on experience centres, to open 30 more by 2020
Metros like Bengaluru, Hyderabad are major contributors to fabindia’s revenue

According to , President – Retail, fabindia, “This is the ninth Experience Centre that fabindia has opened and it is also the seventh in this financial year. We started the journey of opening Experience Centres from Vasant Kunj in 2017 and since then there has been no looking back. At present, fabindia has experience centres in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.”

“Four new Experience Centres are scheduled to be launched this financial year. Out of these four, two will open in Pune and one each in Kolkata and Chandigarh,” he states.

Interpreting The New Store

fabindia’s Experience Centre provides an alternative shopping experience by shifting from transactional exchanges to more experiential and interactive experiences by providing customers the touch-and-feel experience of products.

The outlet houses a FabCafé and an Interior Design Studio, in addition to its signature offering that includes daily wear and occasion wear for women, men and kids, accessories, home and lifestyle products, personal care and organic foods.

FabCafé is an Indian inspired bistro that focuses on bringing a nutritious and contemporary menu highlighting India’s diverse cuisines with an array of dishes that represent various regional cuisines made with seasonal ingredients.

(IDS) is a one-stop design solution to help create memorable spaces. The IDS provides a range of services such as consultancy on layouts, mapping spaces, product customization and colour scheme coordination.

“Our Experience Centre format offers something for the entire family under one roof. With these Centre, the aim is to provide a highly engaging experience that builds a lasting relationship with our customers,” states , Managing Director, fabindia.

Online V/s Offline

fabindia believes that its strength has always been brick-and-mortar and as far as e-commerce is concerned, the brand has been laying stress to strengthen its position on its own website.

“Currently, the amount of business that we are doing from fabindia.com is higher than what any single brand would be doing from their portal,” he asserts.

“Despite having presence on other e-commerce portals like , , and , we are not aggressive on them as most of these portals depend largely on discounting and we do not want to be a part of discounting game. Whatever we are selling, we are selling on the actual price and never believed in high discounting,” he adds.

In addition to this, to provide a seamless experience to the customers, the brand has launched an Omnichannel experience in majority of its stores.

“Currently, this is live in 110 stores and it will be available in 50 more stores in next 5-6 months,” reveals Kapoor.

At present, online contributes 4 percent to the overall revenue of the brand.

Future Plans

With 291 stores across and 72 franchise outlets 105 cities in India and 14 international stores, fabindia Overseas Private Limited is India’s largest retail platform for a wide range of products produced by artisans living largely in rural areas.

“In the coming financial year, we are planning to launch 100 new stores – 30 Experience Centres, 20 company-owned stores and 50 franchise outlets. We have already started identifying the locations. In addition to Tier I and metro cities, we will also be opening our Experience Centres in Tier II cities like Amritsar, Trivandrum and Indore,” Kapoor shares.

Capex involved in opening an Experience Centre is between Rs 2,800-3,500 per sq. ft., depending on the concepts that the brand is introducing and the experience that they want to offer. At present, the fabindia Experience Centre contributes 10 percent to the overall business.

“Right now, the idea is to strengthen these stores and work diligently towards ensuring that we are able to provide the right experience,” Kapoor asserts, while stating, “In fact, we are also planning to launch a line under various categories exclusive to Experience Centres.”

All the categories contribute equally to the overall revenue of fabindia. This financial year, the brand has been contributing on fusion wear category and it has grown around 17 percent in volume.

Metros like Bengaluru, Hyderabad are major contributors to fabindia’s revenue. Tier II is also very encouraging, with cities like Chandigarh, Dehradun, Bhopal also contributing a major chunk to the revenue.

As far as international presence is concerned, the brand is going slow at this point of time. It is opening a store in the Bay Area in the US in the month of July.

“International business is not a very big part of our strategy right now. The focus is on the domestic market because that can give us better results. To succeed in the international market, we need to make the offerings specially in relation to body sizes in these countries and that needs a lot of work. We have taken Singapore as a test market as the mix of customers is pretty good here. For the first two years, the results have been very encouraging in that country,” Kapoor concludes.