Shoppers Stop offers retail and online shopping experiences of unparalleled assortment of the leading international and national brands in men’s clothing, women’s apparel and kids clothes; gifts and fashion accessories like ladies watches, men’s watches, artificial jewelry, fine jewelry, handbags, fragrances, cosmetics, men’s footwear, women’s footwear, home furnishing and decor products. Their customer centricity and relentless pursuit to set new benchmarks in retail has made them the leading chain of department stores in India.

TVC recently interviewed MR. GOVIND SHRIKHANDE, MD, SHOPPERS STOP to discuss retail marketing trends.

TVC:  What has been the trend of consumption of fabrics and garments in India?

GS:Apparel demand has been growing at 15 % + CAGR for the last five years.

TVC:  Do you think consumers postpone fabric and garment purchases in the years of high consumer prices and purchase more when prices have reduced?

GS:As we do not sell fabrics, we cannot see the down grading. However, we have been launching higher end brands every year and the response has been excellent. So I feel it doesn’t matter much because if the consumer needs something they will buy no matter what.

TVC: There is a fundamental shake up in retail marketing. Apart from brick and mortar stores, e-retailing has captured consumers because of competitive prices and heavy discounts. In e-retailing also, there are various models, some are software companies, providing a platform to manufacturer/supplier to sell their products. Some hold stocks in their name. There is a problem of taxation in some cases. Will you kindly give your views on different models?

GS:E-com is currently categorized into 3 Models:Pure Play (Acompany that invests its resources in only one line of business),Market Place (Sellers do not directly interact nor ship goods directly to buyers) andMultichannel or Omnichannel.The models and players are evolving at a breakneck speed. But fundamentally, a large amount of disruption is happening in the last 12 months due to disproportionate discounting and advertising. This is being backed by large PE funding to key market places.

TVC: We learn that some leading mills and garment manufacturers are starting their own platform to sell their products. Do you think this trend will remain confined to top companies in the field?

GS:There will be a place for a lot of new players. Eventually the best will survive, similar to the best players and best malls.

TVC: What is the ideal system of retailing from the point of view of manufacturers and from the angle of consumers? 

GS:Seamless Omni Channel Retailing is the trend for the future.It is basically the use of a variety of channels in a customer’s shopping experience including research before a purchase. Such channels include: retail stores, online stores, mobile stores, mobile app stores, telephone sales and any other method of transacting with a customer.

TVC: Do you think product like fabrics or garments or home textiles are sold on strength of their feel, drape and fibre composition whereas price and mortar model scores over the rest?

GS:Global retail is approximately 15 Trillion + USD. Today just about 7% of this business is coming out of On Line. Even 5 years down the line 85% plus business will be done by Physical Retail, so brick retailers do not need to worry about their death. They need to offer more excitement, competency and experience to continue winning.