From Shoppers Stop, Big Bazaar to Aditya Birla Fashion: How there is a major drive to revamp stores

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Mumbai | Updated: May 8, 2016 1:53:18 PM

The look, touch and feel experience of shopping is what big retailers like Shoppers Stop, Aditya Birla Fashion Retail, Raymonds, Big Bazaar, etc are betting on to boost business.

Kishore Biyani-led Future Group has also been revamping stores from December last year. (PTI)Kishore Biyani-led Future Group has also been revamping stores from December last year. (PTI)

If online players have discounts, brick and mortar retailers have the pull of the experience. The look, touch and feel experience of shopping is what big retailers like Shoppers Stop, Aditya Birla Fashion Retail, Raymonds, Big Bazaar, etc are betting on to boost business.

In line with this strategy is a revamp of stores, changing their look and feel and introducing new brands.

For instance, Aditya Birla Fashion Retail will soon phase out brands like UMM, Urban Yoga, Jealous, Daniel Hechter, Scullers, John Miller, Lumbard, etc, from Pantaloons stores, says a senior company executive. A clutch of brands for women will be promoted — Izabel, Swara, San Francisco — and since these are private labels, the margins are expected to be higher by around 250-300 basis points, hopes the executive.

Says Pranab Barua, business director, retail and apparel, Aditya Birla Fashion Retail, “We have been introducing new brands in both men and women’s categories and our stores internally are getting revamped. The look is being changed to make the stores more attractive to customers and to connect better with the younger generation.”

Govind Shrikhande, managing director, Shoppers Stop, says the focus of the company is to revamp its existing stores. “We have started revamping our stores from the past couple of quarters and will continue doing so this year.

We are trying to have more big digital screens and play music so that the younger generation is able to connect with the brands and visit the stores more frequently.

New look

* Big retailers like Shoppers Stop, Aditya Birla Fashion Retail, Raymond, Big Bazaar, etc are revamping their stores, changing their look and feel and introducing new brands
* Aditya Birla Fashion Retail will phase out brands like UMM, Urban Yoga, Jealous, etc from Pantaloons stores, and promote women’s brands Izabel, Swara, San Francisco
* Shoppers Stop is trying to have more big digital screens and play music to attract youth
* Future Group unveiled a new-look Big Bazaar Gen Nxt at Infinity Mall in Mumbai’s Malad and another at Noida’s DLF Mall of India

Sources say Raymond is continuing its focus on expanding product portfolio in the fabric and apparels segments. It is promoting Raymond shirting product fabric, premium apparels and Made to Measure. The company is still in the midst of revamping its distribution network by renovating 150 The Raymond Stores by FY17 and adding 80 stores per year to improve same-store sales, as well as new store growth. In a bid to update its apparels portfolio, the company is removing overlapping products across its brands — Raymond Premium Apparel, Park Avenue, ColorPlus and Parx.

Kishore Biyani-led Future Group has also been revamping stores from December last year. The company unveiled a new look, Big Bazaar Gen Nxt, at Infinity Mall in Mumbai’s Malad in November and a second one at DLF Mall of India in Noida.

“The Big Bazaar Gen Next stores are designed to be smarter and experiential through the use of technology, innovation in services, layouts and sections and digital interfaces. Technology upgrade at cash tills ensure faster checkouts, there are experience zones for multi-sensorial experiences for food products, wider merchandise and assortments across all categories and a whole new design that has full LED lighting, large digital screens, digital shelf talkers and energy saving technologies that optimise air-conditioning, humidity and lighting within the stores,” says Rakesh Biyani, director, Future Group .

Biyani adds: “The company has introduced live kitchens, and multi-sensory experience zones within the group’s gourmet food chain, Foodhall, which is being introduced within the next generation of Big Bazaar stores.”

Pinaki Ranjan Mishra, partner, Ernst & Young, feels, “The revamping of stores will definitely help the brick and mortar retailers, as online retail has taken a backseat with discount levels declining. Also, most online players are struggling to survive in face of low funding and trying to be profitable.”

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