In an interaction with Indianretailer, Amol Dhillon, Vice President, Strategy & Planning, Woodland Worldwide shared the insight about various strategies Woodland is adopting. And the intention behind the strategies is not to sell the product but to connect with the customer using real time retaling techniques.
Neha Malhotra (NM): What are your retail expansion plans?
Amol Dhillon: Our focus is on expanding in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities. For this year, we have plans of opening 60 odd stores across India in the smaller towns.
NM: What is the reason behind a focus on tier-2 and smaller towns?
AD: The market is expanding with a very fast pace in these areas. And most importantly, the real estate rentals are a lot cheaper in such cities. So if plan a shop in the smaller towns, we have to privilege to open big stores in the form of woodland experience centers. These are areas like Patiala, Ludhiana, etc. These places already have one store each and sales are promising hence we are coming up with more stores.
NM: What is the contribution of e-commerce to your overall business?
AD: The sales contribution of e-commerce to our business is very minimal, at around one per cent. The objective is not just to sell products but to publicize the brand and our portal speaks about the brand and not just the products. Overall contribution in terms of numbers is just one per cent but that is not relevant as we have created a clientele which connects with the brand via these portals and visits the store for making a purchase. We do not encourage customers to buy products without getting a touch and feel of it so online is just a bridge to connect customers and intention is to bring the traffic to the stores.
NM: How is real time retailing being adopted by woodland?
AD: Real time retaling is evolving and we do not want to be left behind the technology. M-commerce is the key to develop real time retailing. The intention is to drift from mass marketing techniques like TVCs to individual marketing techniques. Real time retailing is far more effective in luring the customers and evolving technology is the key to this. If the customer is in vicinity then he/she will get the real time offer there and then so that they can visit the stores to avail the offer. Mobile will be the future so to connect with each and every customer; this is going to the medium for us.
NM: What is the intention behind Woodland’s pro-planet initiatives?
AD: We are a brand which believes that we owe a lot to the planet. Pro-planet is our business sustainability model. We have taken this initiative with an intention to boost the sales but it is because of two other reasons. First is that we endorse the outdoor activities, which is why our shoes are different from others, and that is why we sponsor Everest summit and other such events. And secondly to bring together those people who share the common sense of adventure.
NM: How much do you spend on product development?
AD: We spend about four per cent of the total revenue on R&D. Under the pro-planet activities, we have started using bio-degradable leather for our shoes. Most of our innovation centres are in Hongkong.
NM: What was your revenue last year and how dees the apparel section contributes to it?
AD: Last year our revenue was over Rs 800 Crore and this year we are expecting the revenue to cross Rs 1,000 Crore. Apparel’s contribution fluctuates from season to season. In winters, the apparel section contributes around 65 per cent due to jackets and woolens are high end priced. On an average the apparels contribute to around 35 per cent of the total sales.