Retailer: Could you please tell us about Safe Enterprise’s journey from its inception to its present status?
Huzefa Merchant (HM): In 1991 Saleem Merchant, my father and architect of Safe, was approached by an Australian buyer at his hardware store. She came enquiring about a display system called ‘the grid’. He was quick to realise the potential of a modular shopfitting system and took up the challenge of supplying her with the product. This set him off on the journey of creating Safe Enterprises shop systems, India’s first shopfitting design and manufacturing organisation.
Later on he set up a small unit to produce these grid systems in 1992. By 1998 this had grown to a well-equipped fabrication workshop of 5000 sq ft, which gave way to a state-of-the-art production plant of 35000 sq ft in the year 2004.
In 2010, this was followed by an additional assembly and warehousing unit under the new retail brand, Insync. Such success was possible for the patronage of the organised retailers like Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, Lifestyle, Pepe Jeans, some of India’s largest regional retailers and some new start ups. Today Safe has a portfolio of over 30000 projects that span close to 15 million sq ft of retail space fitted out under the guidance of Mr Saleem and the Team Safe.
Retailer: What sort of solution Insync offers?
HM: At Insync we combine understanding of various types of retail models, their display needs and our design acumen and production know-how into a sophisticated, researched and engineered product line. Here different product offerings are created as standard components to fit all lifestyle retailing verticals, from fashion to electronics, household and gifting stores.
Retailer: Insync is a one stop shop. How effective is this for the commercial or business buyers?
HM: Along with product design and research, Insync was formed with the vision of creating ‘evolved spaces’ which are not only pleasing to the eye but also effective selling platforms throughout the country. To fulfill this vision, we had to bring ourselves physically closer to the customer to provide them a better understanding of our products’ technical and functional aspects. To do so we created the ‘shop for shop- owners’ model where the retailers and retail designers can experience our products and get a better understanding of how they can be used to suit their specific retail needs.
Retailer: What are the areas have to be taken into consideration for implementing effective store fixtures? What is cost for availing your services?
HM: The key areas to be considered are product portfolio, target group and definitely a good retail design strategy. The cost depends on the product line, which varies from Rs 250 to Rs 600 per sq ft.
Retailer: How does Insync ensure a retailer’s higher profitability?
HM: Like any other tool, shopfitting systems are as effective as the way in which they are used. The products not only enhance the aesthetics of a retail environment but also assist a retailer in better arrangement of his store, creating a self-serving retail platform. This reduces manpower costs and improves product visibility. That’s how the return per sq ft is increased and cost per sq ft is reduced, resulting in higher profit margins.