Promart to penetrate into tier III, IV and V cities.
Promart Retail India Private Limited, which was formerly a part of Provogue, is bringing about a lifestyle revolution in cities where the concept of fashion did not exist till date. The aim is simple – to penetrate deeper into every state and offer localised presence for the consumers. Ashish Garg, Managing Director, Promart Retail, and Punit Agarwal, CEO, Promart Retail, reveal their plans and the path they are following to achieve their aim in a tete a tete with Gunjan Piplani.
Gunjan Piplani (GP): Promart has been re-launched as a brand. What are your plans now?
Ashish Garg (AG): Promart was bought out rightly last year from Provogue India and now we have re-launched the brand again. It was a 30 brand retail outlet, which we are expanding as of now, with an aim of larger expansion and deeper penetration.
Punit Agarwal (PA): Our initial target will be to enter tier II and tier III cities, to take fashion to people who have lesser access to it, and to let them have fashion at a shop near them. Our tagline is: You don’t have to come to brands, Promart is coming to you. This makes us a masses brand.
GP: Promart is going strong in terms of store expansion. Kindly elaborate.
PA: We have started off with three stores, one in Ahmedabad and two in Vadodara. We also recently opened one shop-in-shop store at Magnum Department Mall, Mumbai, and a store at Rajkot. We have another seven stores in the pipeline, which we aim to open by March 31. These stores will be opened both in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
GP: Why did Promart choose Gujarat to start off its expansion?
PA: When we took up this project from Provogue, its presence was initially in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Another project was at Shoppers Stop in Indore, which was closed down. So there already was a store in Ahmedabad, which we are now running. Moreover, brand presence and equity was also there in Gujarat through Provogue.
Gujarat, in fact, is the most difficult state in terms of fashion as your merchandising should be up to the mark as customers there are very well aware and choosy, making it all the more challenging for us.
GP: What steps are you taking to make Promart succeed in its plans to bring fashion to cities?
PA: In terms of business strategy, all the other stores have been working on bigger space, ie from 20,000 sq ft to 45,000 sq ft, which made them destination shopping stores. We, on the other hand, do, on an average, a store size of 2,000 sq ft. Our idea is not to open one big store in a centralised area, rather we want to localise our reach and open five different stores in different localities for easy accessibility of consumers, so they would not have to wait for weekend to come and get to a destination shopping.
Moreover, our merchandisers work closely on the need and style of the people and then bring in products that are of their choice and taste.
GP: Who is your target audience? Are you adopting different promotional strategies for different regions?
PA: Having mentioned that, we plan to penetrate in tier II, III, IV and V cities. Our target audience is middle class, lower middle class and people who don’t buy excess of fashion.
In terms of promotional strategies, we are keenly focusing on regionalised or localised promotions. For instance, Navratras are celebrated more in Gujarat, so we would come up with promotions and offers for people in Gujarat or for Lohri, we would offer discounts and deals in north of India more. Moreover, we localise ourselves in terms of communicating to our audience by using the language prominent in particular region.
GP: What are your target regions?
PA: We are presently targeting the western region, which includes Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. From western India, we would move to north India. So our focus is on the tier III, IV and V towns in west and north Indian markets, which still remain untouched by fashion.
GP: Which brands and what price points does Promart offer to customers? Do you also offer time to time discounts?
PA: We have an array of brands that we offer and it includes Levis, Pepe, Wrangler, Spykar, Wills, Arrow, Provogue, Lee, Gini & Jony, Lilliput, Black Panther and J Hampstead.
Promart offers up to 60 per cent discount depending on the brands and pricing. So our offerings start from Rs 99 and go up to Rs 1,599. We obviously can’t offer huge discounts on branded products, which the consumers understand as well and are ready to pay a higher amount for these products.
As far as loyalty programmes are concerned, we will soon be planning for one but only once we penetrate and expand well in the country.
GP: What are your future domestic and international plans?
AG: We are aiming at 120 stores by the next fiscal in the domestic market. Internationally, we are in the midst of negotiations for tie ups, though things are not official yet. But the company will surely partner with at least two new international brands.
GP: What revenues are you generating presently and what is expected for the next fiscal?
AG: We are aiming about Rs 65 crore and expect to achieve Rs 450 crore by end of the next fiscal. This would be majorly driven by the expanding number of stores and markets, including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana. We will be breaking even in the first year itself.
GP: Your take on the retail sector in India.
AG: As far as the sector is concerned, the market is huge, more and more brands are coming in including international brands. This will create awareness and education among consumers, the market will grow and mature. India is a billion people country; this ensures that there is a lot of growth potential in the market and room for all.
Ashish Garg & Punit Agarwal