We plan to open 10 new stores this year: Abhinav Zutshi

In an exclusive conversation with Abhinav Zutshi, Chief Operating Officer, Splash India sheds light on the growth strategy of the brand.
We plan to open 10 new stores this year: Abhinav Zutshi

It’s been long since Splash is operational in the Indian market. What were the key learnings over the years?

Splash started off in the Indian market, eight years ago with its first store in Hyderabad. One of the key learnings that we have had over the years is that the Indian market is very young and that the customers are very price and quality conscious.

How do you see Indian fashion market growing? What would be your forecast about the market considering next five years?

Our customers are growing highly aware of the latest fashion trends. With an increase in disposable income and a customer base which is getting younger by the day, customers want to and are able to buy into new trends quickly. This gives us a lot of scope for experimentation.

According to you, what are the major challenges for an international brand to sustain in the long run?

The Indian market given its diversity, can be very confusing and hence very challenging for international retailers. Understanding the market and customer mindsets, and adapting to the changing needs will help sustain in the long run.

Kindly highlight your current footprint in India? Going forward, what are the plans for footprint expansion in online as well as offline space. Also any plans to open franchised (or sub-franchised) stores in the time to come?

We currently have 19 stores across India and foresee a cautious but aggressive expansion through company-owned stores, primarily targeting metros and tier1/2 cities.

Indian market is crowded with fast brands such as H&M, ZARA, FOREVER21 etc., so going forward what would be your strategy to remain ahead in the competition?

Fast fashion is very nascent and most of the brands mentioned are functioning like any other international retail brand. We intend to customise fashion and make it relevant for our Indian customers.

How is the brand leveraging from the online channel? Any plans to come up with your exclusive web store?

Yes, we will soon be launching our very own e-commerce channel. In the interim, we are available to our customers through Myntra and Jabong.

In terms of consumer experience, what sort of innovations(in-store) the brand has taken upon to improve the in-store experience (and improve the shopping journey) for patrons?

We currently have fashion consultants in our stores who help our customers with shopping. In the near future, we will provide an omnichannel experience which will open up our entire assortment to customers.

Also, mention your store profile in terms of size, layout, location, footfall (average)? Going forward, the focus would be on mall locations or highstreets for the upcoming stores?

Our average store size is 8000Sq.ft. Our focus is always based on locations that have customer affinity towards purchasing fashion, primarily malls.

What are the plans to extend the existing category range? Also, shed light on your bestselling categories/ products?

We have added three new private labels, namely - L’HOMME by ELLE, Splash Denim Division and Boho to our line-up of best-selling categories.

At last, kindly mention your growth plans for FY18-19?

With a plan of sustainable expansion in mind, this year we will open 10 new stores across India.



Abhinav Zutshi