According to Mr Bijou Kurien, vice-president sales and marketing, Titan Industries, the main objective behind this move was to introduce an element of interactivity in its retail outlets while projecting and reinforcing the identities of the Titan sub-brands.
Reasons Mr Kurien: Watch buying today has gone beyond a considered purchase to an impulse purchase. While launching watches for todays evolving consumer, we have recognised the need for a more fashionable and contemporary retail experience. But the exercise was not about designing a store but about focussing on a brand and creating a platform to communicate its identity.
The World of Titan showroom chain, set up in 1987 when Titan was introduced, has over 132 showrooms spread across 84 cities. Mr Kurien says that the 22 to 25 million-unit Indian watches market which is currently growing at the rate of five to seven per cent is expected to grow by 12 per cent by 2003-end.
...to expand brand portfolio
Mona Mehta in Mumbai
Titan Industries has decided to expand its brand portfolio to manufacture and market sunglasses and leather accessories, targeted at the middle end of the market by 2003-end.
Reasons Mr Bijou Kurien, vice- president sales and marketing, Titan Industries: The company is currently conducting a market research for the new range and plans to test-market it in the second phase. Hence it will not roll out the new range this year.
In addition, the company also plans to expand the number of existing showrooms from 130 to touch 150 by 2002-end, informs Mr Kurien.
As for its sales target, Titan Industries hopes to touch the Rs 1,000-crore sales turnover by 2003-end, hopes Mr Kurien.
The key elements of the new retail identity are the open shop facade, glazed windows, modern external signage and a contemporary material palette and colours designed to attract customers. Within the showroom, the interiors have been designed to project the identities of sub-brands .
Incorporating all these elements, the Colaba showroom has been designed by Mr Kiran Kapadia of Kapadia and Associates, Mumbai, with lighting consultant Bo Steiber of Singapore.
The new layout, which also uses island space, is devised to break the conventional concepts of sales personnel and customer interaction from a we-they approach to a we together will choose approach. In a bid to ensure standardisation across Titan showrooms, the company has introduced the new Retail Identity Manual.
Mr Kurien adds that the customer feedback on the whole experience is being registered to enable the company to re-engineer its process to deliver greater customer satisfaction.
Of the 22 million units watch market, Titan has an estimated 85 per cent marketshare in the premium segment with almost 100 per cent recall among intending buyers.