With the completion of 25 years in the fashion retail, shoppers stop seems unstoppable with its future strategies to lead the market. The fashion retailer has devised a future course with which it will focus more on the younger generation, omni-channel integration, expanding the stores count to 100, increasing the online transactions and going cashless among other things. While detailing the media about the future strategies on the occasion of celebrating Shoppers Stops 25th birthday, Govind Shrikhande, Customer Care associate and Managing Director, Shoppers Stop Ltd. spoke to Indianretailer.com.
Amid successive journey of 25 years what will be the future strategies of Shoppers stop?
We are trying to emphasise on the younger element as the current 25-35 age group consumers aren’t really shopping in Shoppers Stop as much as we want and we are trying to bring it into the store as well and for this the private brands will play a big role. Also, we are continuing with the family positioning and the fashion positioning.
We are also looking to enhance the assortment for our loyal consumer group that is ‘First Citizen’ while looking to bring in new international brands. In the last few weeks, we have launched number of new brands, some of which are traditional and others completely new. In two stores we have launched Waman Hari Pethe, the Aeropostal for youths in three other stores and have launched nicks, a make-up brand in two stores.
We believe in mix-n-match of assortment, to cater to multiple needs of the same customer or multiple needs of multiple customers.
What is ‘Personal Shopper’ that you are launching and by when?
Personal Shopper is a personal shopping assistant for the shoppers. The customers will be able to book the appointment with the personal shopper’s executive and they can get full advice of the entire collection to ease the shopping experience.
We started Personal Shopper in four stores two months back and now it has expanded to 48 stores. We want to take to all stores across the country in the next six months. It will be available to normal walking customers as well as First Citizen. Shortly, the customers will be able to book online appointment with the personal shopper.
What is your current store count and what is the expansion plan?
Currently we have 83 stores across India. In the balanced period of this year we will have two stores opening and in the next three to four years, we will be hitting 100 stores. Our current plan is to open four to five stores a year.
How is Shoppers Stop approaching cashless transactions?
Almost 58 percent of our transactions at our stores are done from credit cards. We have a tie-up with Freecharge since a year and do accept Freecharge wallet as well. In the near future we are planning to accept all wallets. Therefore, the convenience of shopping any time with any currency will be available with us.
What are your plans to double the online transactions?
Our target is to have 10x online sale in three years. With online sale, we are looking at how much traffic we are able to get, transaction size per customer and extending the assortment. As of now we get about million customers online and 9 lakh app downloads. Hence, our target is to take it to about 3mn customers online and 2mn plus app downloads.
For the online customers to have deeper and wider assortment, we are looking at extending the assortment from our physical stores. Today, we have about 60 percent of our physical store assortment online. In 8 months time we will have about 85 percent of our assortment online. Also, all beauty brands that we have in physical stores will be available online in next three months.
What is your projection of Indian e-commerce market?
Chinese market online is $ 600 mn and it is 15-18 percent of their total physical retail. In India, today 400 mn people which is one third of the population, is online, but the number of people who are shopping online is still less than 100 mn. So, 400 mn is supposed to go to 700 mn and 200-250 mn are expected to shop online by 2020. By 2020 the online retail market will be $60 bn out of $1.1 tn and out of that, organised retail is going to be $150 bn.
From Data analytics you have earned Rs 190 cr, so what is your future target?
The idea is to achieve at least 30 percent of our total sale out of data analytics additional and that is what our objective should be.
What will be the future challenges?
One will be the technology adoption, how fast we adopt the technology and how can we gear up to the changes. Because now technology has become a strategy and that is the big mindset, which we really need to adopt. And FDI in retail is still a challenging aspect. This is because the govt clarifications on FDI is still not helping FDI retailer, who can’t perform the way they should.
How are you prepared for GST?
GST is all about seamless transportation of goods. It is all about seamless movement and commercialisation of buy and sell of goods across the country. Although we can’t still see the real seamlessness, aks there is still going to be multiple slabs, multiple surcharges and number of items being not covered under GST. Still, there is no clarity and it will come in two to three months. It is likely that in April to September period next year, GST will actually be available and it will keep evolving.
We have to wait and watch for the slabs and I believe at least in short term span, there could be the challenges in terms of execution and pricing, but in long term GST will ease out entire trade and commerce in India and will be beneficial.