In an increasingly digitalised world, where ‘click’ has become the latest parameter of success, and survival of physical stores has been questioned time and again, the brick and mortar stores are never going out of trend, said Rajesh Jain, Managing Director and CEO of Lacoste India – Sports and Leisure apparel Ltd.
Speaking at the Franchise Indian and Retailer organised 5th Indian Retail and eRetail Congress, Jain emphasised on the future of brick and mortar retail in India in the light of burgeoning eCommerce. He also elucidated on what it takes to get the cutomers to walk into one’s store.
While last two years were all about the glory of click, stores are back in action creating a superior consumer experience and even eRetailers are opting for stores, while dark stores being an emerging trend.
Of late, Niti Aayog, CEO, Amitabh Kant made a statement about survival of physical stores and said that the brick and mortar business in India may cease to exist in the current form by 2023.
Kant said, "India is the only country with billion mobile phones and biometrics. In the last 6-7 months we have added almost 28 crore bank accounts. In the last 45 years we have given license to 19 banks, but in the last nine months we have given licence to 23 payment banks, and many of them are telecom companies including Paytm and Airtel. The brick and mortar sector will go dead," said Kant.
Contrary to the viewpoint of Kant, Jain firmly believes that the consumer’s penchant for the look and feel is not vanishing any soon and will fuel the brick & mortar retail industry. He also emphasised that although online stores are high on product visibility and SKUs, offline stores leverage on creating the perfect ambience in accordance with the brand image.
Taking a jibe at discounting policies of online players, Jain made it clear that as the premium brands still fancy physical stores as they do not want themselves to be listed amidst discounted products.