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‘Innovation is the only word relevant today’

By Payal Gulati | July 02, 2019

Women’s lingerie brand — Clovia has made a mark in the Indian lingerie market. In a tête-à-tête with Retail4Growth, Pankaj Vermani, Founder and CEO, Clovia, shares how the brand is making a dent in the $ 4 bn lingerie market through a strong focus on retail strategies.

Pankaj VermaniCloviaWhat’s your assessment of the lingerie market in India? What’s the growth rate?

The current $ 4 bn market (which is expected to be $8 bn by 2020) is still so nascent that the top 10 brands put together are not even addressing 8% of the overall market. It’s a market with enormous potential, waiting to be tapped. While the overall apparel is growing at 8-9% CAGR, lingerie is pegged to grow anywhere between 15-22% annually.

So what’s Clovia’s retail strategy to beat the clutter in an overcrowded market?

Clovia uses smart technology and big data analytics for smart management of inventory ensuring that they have a highly consumer- Cloviarelevant range all times with high sell-through rates resulting in industry best inventory holding.

Clovia has set up a unique distribution system (both online and offline) which is based on direct interaction with customers, getting their direct feedback and using the same in planning the next product range. Big data played a big role here and this led to an extremely strong connect with our customers, leading to creation of a brand on the back of experience and not pure-play marketing.

Shopping for lingerie online could be tricky. How do you make it easier for customers to purchase the right style and size?

Women have traditionally discussed lingerie in hushed tones. We ask - why shouldn't women talk about it in a much more open and confident manner? What is so embarrassing talking about innerwear? Rome wasn’t built in a day - some things don’t change overnight. But we have consistently tried to use all our platforms to break the stigma. The lack of knowledge about various sizes and fits makes it difficult for a client to choose the perfect size and design. Clovia has come up with a breakthrough technology and has created a tool called the “Fit Test” to solve this fundamental problem. We did extensive research and developed this test that asks a woman 5 questions about her body type and then recommends the right bra. We have a very high customer satisfaction score here. The tool has been used/attempted over 150K times.

In an omni –channel environment the design of the brick and mortar space holds particular significance. How do you approach it?

Retail design and VM are of utmost significance to every brand in offline retail as they attract the customer to the store. All of Clovia’s retail stores are in high street markets. It's even more important for us to attract customers who are already in the market, to visit our store. Hence an attractive VM and show window play a huge role. Our stores are pretty with inviting colors and manned by only female staff. We take these efforts to ensure our customers feel welcome and comfortable at the store.

Read the full interview in the July 2019 issue of VM&RD.

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