As consumers have become accustomed to the convenience and empowerment of online shopping, they expect their in-store experiences to be consistent with their e-commerce routines. There is a great opportunity to leverage technology and up the ante to offer customers a seamless, omni-channel experience, says Kavindra Mishra, Vice President, Pepe Jeans India during a candid conversation with Retailer Media…
•India has been a potential country for global investments and ventures, talk to us about the brand's Journey so far?
Founded in1973, Pepe Jeans is the brainchild of Shah brothers from Kenya; Nitin, Arun & Milan Shah who revolutionized London’s fashion scenario by creating stylish and trendy jeans unlike the customary ordinary looking denim available in those days. Owing to their passion and hard work, by 1980, Pepe Jeans had established itself as a leading denim brand in the UK with a cult fan base. The following years saw the brand become even bigger as its popularity and presence expanded overseas. In 1989, Pepe entered India and quickly captured the imagination of fashion starved consumers across the country. Looking back, over the years, the brand has flourished and continues to expand throughout the country, in sync with its global identity.
•Tell us about the new custom studio? How the custom studio is revolutionizing denim wear in the industry?
There is a worldwide movement towards the customization and personalization of fashion. Customisation is at the heart of Pepe Jeans London: when the Shah brothers launched the label from that little stall on Portobello Road in 1973, they would spend weekends customizing the jeans of London’s most fashionable folk. Pepe Jeans Custom Studio is the brand’s new customization service that allows customers to step into the design seat and customise their denim in a few easy steps. First, pick a laser print from the catalogue to be featured on the denim. Next choose the fastenings – be it buttons, rivets or tacks. Then select the brush of the garment and where exactly you want it. Lastly, choose the colours you want your print to be in. Easy – and fun, knowing that your denim is like nobody else’s and that you had a hand in its creation. A Denim Expert will always be available to advise as well.
The Pepe Jeans Custom Studio empowers the customer with the opportunity for personalization; and therein lies a powerful tool that will revolutionize denim fashion in India.
•With your custom studio store, you aim to enhance consumer experience; so, do you think this will help you convert prospective buyer into a customer?
A customer’s expectation for an in-store purchase experience is high. We realized that they might be looking for the same ease and timely service in physical stores that they get from shopping online. Moreover we also understand the need to provide the customer with a greater wow experience at our stores. The goal is to offer customers a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels. The virtual fitting tool like the magic mirror and the Pepe Jeans Custom Studio are opportunities that build a better shopping experience for prospective buyers and customers alike.
•How technological advancements are a game changer in this era of e-commerce boom, where customers' expectations of the in-store experience are higher than ever?
Emerging technological solutions help create convergent retail experiences in many different areas. As consumers have become accustomed to the convenience and empowerment of online shopping, they expect their in-store experiences to be consistent with their e-commerce routines. There is a great opportunity to leverage technology and up the ante to offer customers a seamless, omni-channel experience. What retailers used to consider separate business models are beginning to amalgamate into an omni-channel approach where the key ingredient is consistency and continuity across the multiple touch points that consumers encounter on their purchase journeys.
•Would the pricing remain true to overall positioning of Pepe as a brand?
•By incorporating such innovative technologies to improve consumer experience, you are moving towards omni-channel retailing? We would like to know your views about the future of omni-channel retailing in India?
At the core of Omni-channel is customer convenience. Omni-channel means putting the consumer at the centre of its strategy and allowing them to decide when, where, and how to shop. The consumer can order anytime, anywhere, and from any device. The key however is a seamless customer experience across all touch-points. We are glad to be leading the pack with our latest innovations; both with Pepe Jeans Custom Studio and Magic Mirror.
•How many such stores do you plan to open? What are your expansion plans for this fiscal?
A year from now, 10 of our key stores across the country will have a Pepe Jeans Custom Studio present. As for Magic Mirror, in its first phase, this virtual experience is being launched at 4 stores and will be there after rolled out in other key stores.
•What was the design theme of the store?
Based on the global design concept, the Pepe Jeans London store is setting new benchmarks in the ultimate international retail shopping experience for customers. Reminiscent of the streets in London, the uniquely designed Pepe Jeans London store provides a vibrant source of pioneering youth culture and the perfect gateway to an all new internationally driven experience of fashion.
The store consists of attractive props, interesting visual merchandising elements and innovative fixtures and various wall displays on par with global standards. Separate wall units and display systems dedicated for various collections add to the grandeur of the store. A mix of uber-cool shelves and stylish mannequins highlight the brand’s youthful, fashionable and international appeal. The distinct denim wall exhibits the new fits, styles and washes introduced for the current season.
•Tell us about the concept of the magic mirror?
Magic Mirror captures multiple images of the products tried by the consumer. It then helps them compare the looks on one screen. It encourages self-driven shopping, comparing looks and the sharing option helps upload on social media platforms, thus encouraging immediate feedback from your friends. The virtual dressing mirror helps enhance the in-store experience, ensure convenience, create buzz and generate in store footfalls