Woodlands initiatives range from a wide array of innovative CSR endeavours. This includes their Pro-Planet initiative. The brand is also doing a digital initiative called Eco-Lution. Woodland has tied up with a German company called Desma to ensure high quality on the product front. Footwear manufacturing has always been labour-intensive. Desma would now bring robots in the manufacturing process. The new technology will take in automated designs and handle all functions using robots.
Store designs and concepts are developed in-house by a highly skilled team of designers who are in constant touch with fashion trends worldwide. This is crucial in context to marketing as it builds and maintains standardisation of store aesthetics. There are advertisements put across print, electronic and online mediums.
The core belief is that the brand is close to nature, intended through process and use. The core value of the product signified by the brand is that the company makes constant effort to make eco-friendly processes mandatory, and is active in adventure sports and related activities.
The Challenges overcome
The biggest challenge today is lack of awareness when it comes to specialised products like shoes for adventure sports. Studies conducted by the company reveal that 1/10th of the total population are aware of such specialised products. Woodland designs help its customers face the challenges thrown up by Mother Nature. But, Woodland through constant marketing has crossed over this hurdle.
Major expansion plan is now concentrated around the tier II and III cities. As the current share states that the company-owned store ratio in the metros and smaller cities is 60:40. Soon, this ratio will be 50:50. The plan is to bring it to an equal level by opening more stores in tier II cities of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Jammu, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
His understanding of the retail business and his learning in this process
“During our 18 years of Woodland journey, there has been core understanding on two broad areas-- customer satisfaction is more important than profitability. Over the years, our main objective was not only profitability but to maintain the long term relationship. Secondly, it is very important to choose the correct retail space.”