With an experience of over two decades and having worked on over 30,000 successfully completed fit-out projects and covered close to 15 million sq. ft of retail space, Safe Enterprises has recently launched their new retail arm Insync. Huzefa Merchant, Director-Safe Group and CEO, INSYNC talks about its inception and the experience one can look forward to in their stores.
Neha Malhotra (NM): Safe Enterprises has recently launched its new retail arm ‘INSYNC’. Can you brief us about this venture?
Huzefa Merchant (HM): The whole idea with INSYNC was to use our experience and knowledge to create a range of display solutions for ‘evolving spaces’ into a commercially viable and unique retail experience. For achieving this objective, we carried out a formal research exploring our own knowledge base and also in the market about user trends and how retail display solutions can be used in different areas whether it is a tier I or a tier II city. We then designed specific products to provide solutions for different store formats.
We understand that the use of fixtures vary depending on the size and format of the store. Large format stores with high footfalls have the specific need of strong and stable displays which are versatile and can be used in different sections of their store, while boutiques and other small box retailers are more interested in how flexible their display can be besides the look and feel they lend to their environment, since they have the need to constantly change with their merchandise mix.
Whether it be a large format or small, everyone would like to bring down their start up cost, we have looked at the problems from different angles to help reduce cost, rather than bringing down our standards, we have innovated solutions like ‘evolved modularity’
We appreciate that the cost of logistics is a very high cost while starting up a store, to reduce this we have designed our products to a level of modularity where all our products can be flat packed and shipped at the lowest possible cost, while reducing the transport cost and carrying cost of the products.
By using innovative design solutions in our products we have reduced the cost of replacing display parts. Introduction of ‘anti-friction’ strips on our accessories is one such innovation.
Our ‘Inter syncing’ accessories, where multiple product ranges use the same set of display accessories to give ‘evolved flexibility’ in our products. Our retail outlets are designed to assist designers and retailers to get a first hand experience of what their store can look like after our fixtures have been installed. The stores are designed to create a mock up of a retail space, to achieve this experience.
The name INSYNC is our expression of how we bring ‘in sync’ the needs of all the stakeholders, the retailers, retail designers and the shopfitter.
NM: New showrooms have also been opened. What was the purpose behind the opening of these showrooms?
HM: We appreciate the retailers, need for swift implementation on site to enable a quick store start up. In retail every moment is expensive. So to bring our retail solutions geographically closer to our consumers and to provide them a ready availability of our display solutions is the primary driver behind our decision to open these showrooms.
NM: What kind of an experience can customers look forward to when coming to the showroom?
HM: INSYNC stores are designed for high levels of interactivity and knowledge transfer. We have designed the communication in store to be almost self explanatory. Our store staff is well trained and would be able to assist a designer or retailer on the different products, their utility and application depending on the specific needs of the client.
NM: Who are your target clientele?
HM: Primarily we are targeting the designer clan. Anyone and everyone who is involved with store design, from the architect to the visual merchandiser and also the contractors are important for us.
Secondly, we are looking at evolving the retail experience of local brands and local retailers who are impacted by international brands.
Thirdly, we are looking at national level brands and multi store outlets that need to import these items from either Italy or Germany, owing to the non availability of such solutions in India.
NM: What products are available for the customers who walk into your stores?
HM: Our product range is primarily of display solutions i.e. for the lifestyle industry. We have a range of about seven different display solutions ranging from displays for the wall or floor. Specific ranges are designed for specific functionality. Pitch 40 - is designed for ‘evolved versatility’ while the © Syntrack series is designed for ‘evolved flexibility’.
NM: Do you manufacture or source products?
HM: The products are manufactured by us through our own factories and assembly units. Some parts are made available by our vendors. We have an extension of our vendor base spread across the country.
NM: What are the company’s future plans?
HM: The company is looking at expanding its retail arm in different parts of India. We have two different models, under the Safe Enterprises model; we cater to the national and international brands and their need for customization.
With the addition of the INSYNC model we intend to spread the reach of our range of standardised modular display solutions.