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Evok plans to strengthen presence in South & North India

By Chanda Kumar | October 17, 2016

Speaking to VM&RD at the new store launch in Bangalore, Thomas Johan, COO, EVOK shares more about the brand's new store design concept, expansion plan and their strategy to capture the highly competitive furniture retail business today.

Evok, a premium home solutions brand from Hindware Home Retail, launched its fourth store in Marathahalli, Bangalore taking the total count to 15 stores across the country. Speaking to VM&RD at the launch, Thomas Johan, COO, EVOK shares more about the brand’s new store design concept, expansion plan and their strategy to capture the highly competitive furniture retail business today.

How are you planning to position Evok in the market which is dominated by large offline home improvement stores and the increasingly popular online furniture marketplaces?

I may not be able to compete against large home improvement stores as our stores on an average are between 8000-10,000  sq ft. So the idea for us is to present Evok as a large format boutique store but bring in a ‘shock value’ through our prices, design, quality and store ambience.

Tell us about the store design concept which you have unveiled with this new store in Bangalore.

The store design concept in our new Marathahalli store will be adapted for all our existing and upcoming stores. In a matter of one and half years. I have personally recreated the look of the store. We have a visual merchandiser from Philippines onboard, who has played a key role in putting up this store concept. Flexibility is the key factor in this design. I can change the look of the store overnight through elements like movable and double sided walls. This is very great for a retailer like us who needs a fresh look regularly. We spend a lot of our budget and time on renovation, where many parts of the store are cordoned off while work is in progress.  In doing this, we lose our revenue per sq ft.

What's your brand's omni-channel strategy?

Omni-channel is a must today. We have our own portal and also partnered with online marketplaces such as Amazon, Snapdeal,etc. But about 90 percent of our business comes from our offline stores. As of now, our range of products in the store doesn't completely fit into the online channel. However, we are coming up with a set of products which are purely for online.

Matured markets like US & Europe, today, they are still in single digit contribution of about 9 percent when it comes to online. While 90 percent of revenues come from offline stores. While there is rapid growth in online, the share of offline will still be very large. With our products, touch and fell factor is important. Unlike apparels, a wrong decision home furnishing and decor products cannot be hidden in the wardrobe.  

Tell us about your retail expansion plans and product offerings.

We now have15 stores across the country and have two more in the pipeline this year. In the coming year we will add about about 2-3 stores. We are looking to expand more in South and strengthening our presence in the North. Also we plan to enter more Tier II cities.

There is a lot of change coming into our product range in the stores. We are getting out of crockery, cutlery, utility products and concentrating on gallery, home decor products which complement our core furniture range.

What was Evok's revenue last fiscal and the expected growth in the current FY?

We are at Rs 1100 crore and expecting to grow rapidly.

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