Academic Break: Cool Time to Entice Kids

Summer vacations at schools and the beginning of new academic session have inspired retailers in kidswear to come up with innovative offerings

Indian retail market is booming big-time but when it comes to the kids segment, there are comparatively fewer players and less innovative offerings. The reasons are mainly – organised market is very less, kids’ garments are costly due to additional inputs like patch work, embroidery, trendy designs, accessories, etc; and quality and comfort are a great deal for kids brands. Also, the segment requires many sizes according to the different age brackets.

However, there are some retailers who are making constant efforts to be in sync with the kids’ needs. Sensing the market, this academic break they have introduced new products.

Initiatives taken

The school vacations and the new academic session around the corner – have encouraged kidswear retailers to employ new strategies and hot offerings to lure kids. From adding licensed or co-branded merchandise to launching new merchandise ranges, they have planned exciting offerings for kids like back packs, classpacks, shoes, accessories and clothes etc.

Setting the mood, Gini & Jony- a well known kids’ brand, launched its 'Bag to School' Season II recently. The launch follows from the superb response received by the brand last year. This year Gini & Jony has added yet another feather in its cap by tying up with Shahid Kapoor and Ayesha Takia's latest release Paathshaala to offer range of products in the category.

Retailers have planned a lot of activity around this season to cater to the interests of their young customers and parents alike. Rahul Sharma, GM-Retail, Lil Tomatoes comments, “We have already launched the summer cool collection with cool colours and now introducing under garments for kids with lot of cartoon prints. We are also coming up with soft toys and introducing a range of foot wear keeping in consideration this hot summer.”

Vinay Girdhar, VP-Sales & Marketing, Catmoss adds, “Keeping in mind the rising level of mercury, we are planning to tie-up with malls at different locations for organizing Summer Camps for kids; wherein there would be different kind of activities, competitions, etc and a chance for kids to win Catmoss Goodies/Gift Vouchers. Along with this we are planning to unleash a promotional campaign at store level, where we may give some goodies like goggles/activity boards free with a stipulated amount of purchase.”

Sandeep Saxena, Business Head, Zapp says, “In March end, we introduced added categories like accessories, bag packs etc. We have also introduced swimwear, keeping in mind the vacations. We will be shortly adding active wear, FIFA being just round the corner in June and will subsequently add soft toys too.”

Marketing strategy

Value for money, reduced price range and giving the best quality products are some of the points that retailers always keep in mind while catering to varied customer interests. The marketing strategy could involve anything from offering discount schemes, privilege cards, organising fashion show for kids among other things.

Saxena opines, “Our strategy remains to be communication-in and around the store. We mostly have stores in high streets and malls. We do not indulge in the electronic medium but take up print and outdoor medium’s help to reach out to our customers. It could be via the FM channels or the freebies being distributed.

Girdhar adds, “All the marketing activities/promotions will be jointly done with the malls. More emphasis would be on BTL activities.”

Retail channels in use

Sharma shares, “We are working with EBOs (exclusive brand outlets) and MBOs (multi-brand outlets). Also, we are open to work with the shop-in-shop format.” “We are present with all the retail channels with a wide reach to the customer. Today, apart from our EBO network, Catmoss is available at all the leading large format stores (like, Shopper's Stop, Lifestyle, Globus, etc) and MBO's across India,” adds Girdhar. However, Saxena says, “We are present in EBOs only and select shop-in-shops. We have 39 operational brand stores pan India.”

Expected returns

Any retail initiative has expectations of some return (any form) from the market. It is thus, that initiatives are taken. Girdhar comments, “From these kinds of promotional activities, we do not eye at a direct monetary returns. Rather the enhancement in brand association/recall and brand value is our foremost targets. Moreover, it’s a brand building process; the results are always positive but cannot be measured.” Saxena, however says, “The contribution is approximately 30 per cent.”

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