“Bengaluru is a cosmopolitan city with a lot of young people, first-jobbers and small-town migrants which is our target consumer,” said Abhishek Ganguly, MD of Puma India. “Online retail needs a different set of requirements like large catalogues and quick deliveries. In offline retail, experience is the most important factor. Customer interaction, engagement and solve using technology are key,” he added.
Despite the growth of e-retail, offline is still Puma’s larger channel. About 77% of their India business comes from offline and 50% of which comes from exclusive stores, according to Ganguly.
The personalization option at the experience store is not new. The sportswear brand had piloted it in the past for its collaboration footwear range with Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. Now the option to get customized embroidery designs and prints of one’s names, initials and shapes is open for the entire range at the store.
This tech-enabled flagship store comes by at a time when competitor Nike is reducing its stores in India as part of its global restructuring process. In the wake of the economic slowdown, retailers across sectors have been cost-cutting too. Puma, which currently has 360 stores in the country, said it has not faced any concern to correct its course.
“We are not closing down any of our stores. We have not been affected by the economic slowdown. We have always been mindful of our expansion Our stores are growing at 30% and we have had a strong growth compared to last year. We are bullish about India and will continue to invest in retail,” said Ganguly.
The 70-year-old sportswear brand, which has celebrities like Virat Kohli, Sara Ali Khan and Mary Kom as its brand ambassadors in India, wants to open similar experience stores next in Delhi and Mumbai.
Source Name – Economic Times – Retail