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Brick & mortar cos bet big on festive season

Major brick and mortar players are positive that the upcoming festive season will be a good one despite the fact that their omni channel roll outs are in nascent stages. Retailers are expected to offer chunky discounts and extend the sale period.

By: | Mumbai | Updated: September 23, 2016 7:09 AM
Kabir Lumba, managing director of Lifestyle on Thursday, said that the consumption has become such a part and parcel of people’s lives that he is confident of a double digit like growth during the season. (Reuters) Kabir Lumba, managing director of Lifestyle on Thursday, said that the consumption has become such a part and parcel of people’s lives that he is confident of a double digit like growth during the season. (Reuters)

Major brick and mortar players are positive that the upcoming festive season will be a good one despite the fact that their omni channel roll outs are in nascent stages. Retailers are expected to offer chunky discounts and extend the sale period.

Kabir Lumba, managing director of Lifestyle on Thursday, said that the consumption has become such a part and parcel of people’s lives that he is confident of a double digit like growth during the season.

“I think consumer sentiment is stable and positive,” he reiterated at the India Retail Forum.
Although major offline retail companies spelt out their online and omni channel initiatives last year, not many have had a full fledged integration yet. In fact, this is going to be the first festive season after Lifestyle launched its online portal, which now has merchandise from the company’s major brands, Lifestyle, Max and Home Centre.

At the moment, Lifestyle has no partnership with any major marketplace but the company is open to evaluating such integrations, Lumba added. Clearly, even in the absence of a significant online presence, the company is hoping that consumers will walk into stores and shop during the season.
Interestingly, according to Lumba, discounts in Lifestyle stores will be deeper by 2% – 3% this season. Even duration of SALE days is expected to be extended to 8 weeks higher than the customary 6 weeks.

Intense pressure from online portals in the past three years forced brick and mortar retailers to extend the sale period. But most well performing malls are not in favor of such a tactic.

“Brands have had to extend sale period to liquidate inventory but in turn, it has hurt brand quality,” said Rajneesh Mahajan, COO at Inorbit mall.

Still, in order to protect volumes, it has left companies with no choice. Some industry experts also pointed out, consumers are now used to a 60 days sale period.

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