Offline brands gear up to beat consumption blues

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Published: October 26, 2019 12:34 AM

The mall has included the jewellery and electronics categories in its loyalty programme and shoppers can redeem 2% of their entire purchase.

Some brands are giving freebies on shopping up to a certain value, whereas others have given a big push to their loyalty programmes. Max Fashion, for instance, is giving out free trolley and duffel bags on certain purchase basket sizes.

Despite a disappointing first half, offline brands are optimistic about the second half of the festival season, particularly Diwali. According to industry experts, the second half of the season is more important for offline players since 80-90% of festive sales take place in the last week leading up to Diwali. Experts are of the opinion that impulse buying in the week leading up to Diwali, coupled with promotions and marketing activities, might help boost retail performance for the entire season.

“Now that online sales are done with, the focus is on offline and hence, one can witness even more discounts and promotions,” says Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research. Such discounts could also be an attempt to arrest general consumption slowdown, according to Pinakiranjan Mishra, partner and leader, consumer products and retail, EY India.

“The festival period accounts for about 35-38% of our sales and we are working towards reaching that mark. With the ongoing slowdown phase, attractive discounts, low-cost EMIs, extended warranties and cashback offers will help us overcome this phase,” says Arun Menon, country business head, Philips Television and Audio, TPV Technology.

Some brands are giving freebies on shopping up to a certain value, whereas others have given a big push to their loyalty programmes. Max Fashion, for instance, is giving out free trolley and duffel bags on certain purchase basket sizes. Clothing brands W and Aurelia by TCNS Clothing are giving out gift vouchers worth `750-10,000, depending on the bill amount. Most smartphone brands have launched their online offers for offline retail, too, after retailers complained about deep discounting by Amazon and Flipkart. “Our online offers are being replicated offline as well to make sure there is no disparity between the channels,” says Madhav Seth, CEO, Realme India. The company has offered its handsets like Realme C2, Realme 5 and Realme 3 Pro at discounted prices.

Jewellery majors such as Kalyan Jewellers, who have not seen good sales this season due to high gold prices, had taken measures preemptively to increase footfalls. “People are very sensitive about gold prices, so we have launched a pre-book offer wherein they pay 10% in advance and book their gold, but we would charge them based on whichever day — the day of booking or purchase — the price was lower,” says Ramesh Kalyanaraman, executive director, Kalyan Jewellers.

Shopping malls, too, are hoping for better footfalls by betting on experiences to draw consumers. “E-commerce has put the pressure on everyone, but they cannot offer experiences. During Diwali, people like to go out and spend time in malls,” says Yogeshwar Sharma, executive director and CEO, Select Citywalk. Malls are organising musical concerts, Diwali bazaars and other engaging activities to pull in the crowd. Select Citywalk has spent 12% more on ambient decorations this year and has also cross-promoted brands present in the mall.

Then there’s Oberoi Mall in Mumbai which extended its shopping hours till midnight last weekend. “We felt there is a lot of repressed consumption and brands have put their best foot forward. We have done things a little differently this year to up our sales,” says Anuj Arora, general manager, Oberoi Mall. The mall has included the jewellery and electronics categories in its loyalty programme and shoppers can redeem 2% of their entire purchase.

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