‘Variety of merchandise is the key to a successful store’
By Swaminathan Balasubramanian | August 02, 2019
Shree Devi Textile is one of the most established retail brands in Coimbatore. With a store space of close to 75,000 sqft, the retailer firmly believes that the key to successfully driving walk-ins is to have a variety of product designs.
Shree Devi Textile was started in the 1980s P Sivaganesh, Chairman of the company, who felt the need back then to have a small retail establishment to sell textiles. “I don’t come from a weaving background, but I had a passion for the retailing of textiles. Thus I came up with a shop which is now one of the popular showrooms in Coimbatore,” says Sivaganesh.
Speaking on the current trends, he says, “The key trend I notice among shoppers today is the lack of loyalty. Two decades ago, every retailer used to have a set of dedicated loyal customers and sentiments were attached to a retail shop. Like a family doctor, family advocate, etc., there use to be a concept called ‘Family Showroom’. That is changing now and a customer has a wide variety of options to choose from. So their purchase decisions change constantly.”
In-store purchase trends
According to Sivaganesh, gone are the days when the retailer had to explain in detail to the customer. “Today the role of the executive at the store is more like a catalyst. The customer is often well-informed on what to buy. However, he/she is confused once they visit a store, so they need help in deciding.” Sivaganesh is also of the firm belief that online cannot overtake physical retail in the textile industry, it can only complement it. “We are not much focused on digital sale. However, we want to ensure presence in that space to tap the global customers,” he explains.
Another key factor he says, which has contributed to the success of Shree Devi is the product design itself. Their designers, Sivaganesh says, while designing a Kancheepuram saree keep in mind how a customer in a retail store responds and reacts. “Thus we incorporate the retail feel from the product design stage itself”.
Product design versus store design
Speaking of designs, Sivaganesh also feels that in a retail store, it is the variety of the products - the materials in terms of color, the design etc that decide the store sale, more than the store design itself . “We have the widest range of materials, which no other retailer can even imagine in the market. That is our major USP. Thus, in our experience, more than the store design, it is the product design and the alignment of the product with the customer that will decide the success,” he says.
“Customers today, no doubt, look at the cleanliness of the store and comfortable shopping experience. However, their major expectation lies in having as many varieties of colors, materials, and designs in the dress they wear”, Sivaganesh added further telling that there is no better customer delight than providing them value-for-money.
Even though Shree Devi Textile does not change the look and feel of the store regularly, the designs do go through changes. The entire showroom is filled with LED lights which enhances the product’s look and is also a cost-saving option.
Speaking on the expansion plans, Sivaganesh informs that he is planning to come up with a new store of 25,000 square feet near the existing location. “We have finalized the place. It will be a multi-story building with state-of-the-art design elements. We are yet to finalize the design and other aspects,” he concludes.
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