Malls - where designers love to sellApril 15th, 2011 - 1:30 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Step into a mall and you’ll spot big labels like Ritu Kumar, Satya Paul, Shantanu-Nikhil and Gauri-Nainika staring back at you. High volumes and visibility and lower marketing costs have prompted many designers to display at malls.
While that could mean moving away from exclusivity to accessibility, many designers point out that malls mean better profits than flagship stores.
Ranna Gill, known for her mastery over print and colour display, told IANS: “Easy accessibility and growth in footfall help in converting the visitor into a customer. If 10 people come to your store, at least three would buy, so it helps.”
She has stores at Phoenix mall in Mumbai and DLF Emporio in Delhi.
“Designer stores in malls are a way to reach out to a larger client base and have definitely helped to fetch more business.”
Phoenix in Mumbai and Promenade mall in the capital are among the places where brands like Aza, Ogaan and Kimaya have their stores. Then there is Crescent mall in the capital dedicated to home brands, while DLF Emporio is home to national and international high end brands.
Usually the pret collections are displayed at malls and they disappear fast.
“Pret is most suitable for the mall option. When I open a store in a mall, I will definitely put up Indo-Western and pret lines instead of couture because couture stores need exclusive location and exclusive buyers,” said Shyamal Sodhan of Shyamal and Bhumika.
“A mall is a space where you sell fast-moving products. The price range at malls varies between Rs.2,500 and Rs.35,000 and about 50 to 100 garments are on display, which is 30 to 35 percent less than standalone stores.”
Accessory designer Felix Bendish said: “There is definitely a difference in the price range. If we have 15 garments in a designer store, the price of all these garments together will be Rs.50,000. If the same number is displayed in a mall, one particular dress will cost you Rs.975 to Rs.1,000. The price is 40 to 45 percent less. So malls are cheap as compared to flagship stores which have exclusive and limited pieces.”
Varija Bajaj, who deals in semi-bridal attires, says visibility helps in reducing marketing cost.
“Shopping destinations have become more of an outing for people. When we talk about designers like me who deal in semi-bridal collections, which are not an impulse purchase, the visibility factor helps,” Bajaj told IANS.
“People prefer to check out collections in a mall rather than visiting an exclusive studios. They get variety, better options to choose from by visiting a series of stores in the same mall. So when the right occasion comes, they know where to pick their outfits from.”
Does retailing products in malls affect profit?
“Yes, the platform provides more organised retailing, more organised shopping and has helped us reduce efforts of marketing ourselves drastically,” Bajaj said.
Puja Arya said: “I also feel the marketing platform that a mall gives plays a big role in getting the desired business.”
Delhi-based designer Niket of the label Niket and Jainee says normally a standalone store costs Rs.7 lakh to Rs.8 lakh to set up plus monthly rent.
“It all depends on the designer - how he wants to do the interiors. However, opening a store in a mall is costlier than a flagship store.”
But what motivates designers to be accessible rather than exclusive?
“A store in a mall helps bring down the cost as one has the leverage to sell its garments at a reasonable price; so the number of pieces sold compensate the expense,” said Arya.
Designer duo Hemant-Nandita says pret has become the new rage.
“Every designer is now getting into the groove and trying to adapt to it. Earlier designers used to make suits and saris which were expensive, but now designers are making ganjis, shirts and pants that can be worn every day,” said the duo, who retail through stores like Kimaya, Aza, Ogaan and Samsara.
(Manpreet Kaur can be contacted at email@example.com)
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