Creating Dual Utility Space

Kolkata witnesses retail innovation with dual utility stores
Saving space and time

“All our stores have a transforming nature, during the day these are lifestyle stores which by night convert into lounges that radically transforms into the hippiest pubs in town. We wanted to introduce new lifestyle concepts and hence we came up with Amoda The Spa Bar, Zevar ‘Z’ Lounge and Amrana ‘the gold bar’” explained, Mr. Pushpesh Baid, managing director of Baid Group, and added further, “The proposition behind the dual utility retail space is optimum utilization of space and time. The idea behind such a concept is to generate maximum revenues at a time when real estate prices are on an upswing. 


Extending lifestyle experience

The concept came about as they wanted to extend the lifestyle experience to their customers in Kolkata and give them a unique lifestyle cum retail experience - a “perfect space” to shop or party.


Acceptability in Kolkata

This format is relatively new to India but is fast catching on. An idea such as this requires a great deal of change in the existing mind sets of the people. The responses and the foot falls at all the units led them to believe that the same is definitely gaining popularity and acceptability in Kolkata.


Common demographics for both formats

Their offerings cut across the demographic boundaries; hence they set the target market based on behavioural segmentation. The reason for that decision was because in a behavioral segmentation the individual develops a relationship with the offerings and the service.


The common demographic is usually a person within the age between 18 to 45 years and someone who wants something new, which is different and aspirational. The Indian demographics are ideal for their present positioning. With rising aspirations, a change in the attitude and confidence of young India, rising disposable income and the mood to spend is clearly in their favour.


The aura of ambience

For Amoda Spa Bar they have kept to dark overtones in keeping with the spa and lounge themes. In the day when clients walk in out of the day light, they can walk into a relaxed atmosphere with dim lights playing well to the relaxing atmosphere. The therapy rooms convert into private cubicles at night for small groups.


Zevar, the ‘Z’ Lounge: an opulent jewelry store offers a lounge like relaxed atmosphere while shopping. The gondolas that display the jewelry by day are used to display exquisite wines and liquor from around the world at night.


“Incorporating both wasn’t too difficult as operationally we made it easy to use and transform. Like the gondolas in Zevar and the therapy rooms in Amoda”, informs Baid.


Using space for dual purpose

Amoda Spa Bar is a concept spa by day that transforms into a lounge at night.  The therapy rooms give way to private cubicles. The reflexology area converts into the dance floor. The bar serves juices, mock-tails during the day and whips up exotic cocktails and mixes after sundown.  Amoda Spa Bar is open only by pre reservation for exclusive events.


Amarna is a jewelry store with refined gold products converting into a lounge at night. The bar at night is a jewelry display unit by day wherein only the gondolas are removed to give way to a fully stocked bar. At the store our customers can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee while looking at the jewelry. This space converts into the seating area for the lounge at sundown. 


Z Lounge on the other hand has a rich interior décor studded with leather sofas, crystal strings, warm and comfortable lighting with soothing piped music. The lounge provides the perfect setting to unwind with a glass of exquisite wine and a delicious menu with the best in culinary delight. Connoisseurs please note the Z lounge experience is an exclusive one and is open only on special request and pre reservation. The gondolas displaying the jewelry exhibit exclusive wines and liquors from around the world.


Converting the space each time

We have two different teams in each store that takes care of conversion.  The jewellery is replaced with liquor. We have a readymade counter at Amarna where coolers and soft drink is available during the day hours and hard drinks are later added to the counter.  An hour is required to transform each.


Managing the work force for both the formats

There are two different set of  workers for each store.

In the case of Amoda Spa Bar – they have trained therapists and managers for the spa and a trained F&B team for the lounge. Similarly for the jewelry units, Amarna & Zevar, they have especially trained staff for jewelry sales during the day and an F&B unit for the night.


Managing the back end operations

They have specially trained staff in F&B and jewelry sales. The team manages their operations.


Expansion plan for the three formats

All three stores have been recently launched and they are currently focusing on them. In the future they would like to extend these to other metros in India.


Dual utility retail space and other  categories

Any retail category if designed well can be converted into a dual retail space; they have seen this with retail brands like Provogue which had Provogue lounge. Internationally they have seen concepts like a Barbershop Lounge that is reminiscent of a private gentleman's club that caters exclusively to fine men's grooming where one can enjoy a complimentary beverage, shoot a game of pool and also get a haircut.


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