All set to capitalise business opportunity

Pavers England, the leading footwear brand from UK, has recently rolled out expansion plan. Stuart Paver, President & Chairman, Pavers England Limited discusses on strategic business plan of the company.

We’ve been operating in India as the sourcing hub for the last decade. And during those visits I realised the potential and opportunity that exist in India. Reliance Footprint is the first store that we operated with. We don’t have any official tie-up with Reliance Footprint.  They’re our first retail partner. We did a joint launch in April 2008. Since then the relationship has grown from strength to strength. We’re expanding and growing with them.

 

Consolidating the presence

We will set up 25 single brand outlets in the period of 2011-2012 and add up 30 or 50 more multi-brand outlets. Over last two and three years, we’re investing heavily in logistics and infrastructure base, so we’re on the right track for rapid roll out with an announcement of another US$15 million investment for the same in 2011.

We’re looking at several tier II cities and doing our assessment of where we feel right first. The store size of these stores will be anything between 550 sq ft to 1000 sq ft carpet area.

Depending on the demography of the cities, there will be modification in the merchandise roll out.     The consumer base will decide that -their preferences, is the city industry based or IT based, is it more modern or more traditional. For example, in Coimbatore or Tiripur, which is heavily industrial oriented with textile and yarn manufacturing centres, the customers are mostly blue-collared worker of industry-background. For them the merchandise has to be different. Whereas Kochin is completely different, which is tourism based. So, there will be different profile for the products.

 

Merchandise review

We review our products every week and accordingly change the collection every week, customise it to match the latest trend. We source 60 per cent of our merchandise from the specific vendors selected by Pavers England for international work, who are based in India, and rest is sourced through our worldwide vendors. We take technologies which is developed for worldwide audience and we use the R&D centres to customise it and we take feedback from all the stores, we talk to sales people we’ve employed. Our designers are based in both India and Europe. 

 

Concern for ecology

As a company we’re eco-friendly. We’re investing in green energy for some of the office blocks, putting up solar panels, doing as much as re-cycling of waste products as we can, using new stores with LED lighting. It doesn’t produce that much of heat so lessen the use of air-conditions and it’s lower on energy consumption. It’s about using the smart technology to reduce the impact on the environment.

 The stumbling blocks

The challenges are lot to do with infrastructure and taxes. In UK we can distribute to any store overnight. In India it’s not just possible. Not because of distance but the amount regulations and lack of efficiencies. The huge number of employees we hire centrally just to fill up the forms and pieces of papers for inter-state movement of the goods. This makes the entire system inefficient. In my Christmas wish list I place implementation of GST on the top and less form filling! 

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