After setting up seven ‘Lifestyle’ stores in India, Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd—part of the Landmark Group—is now planning to move into the consolidation phase in 2004-05. Hence, during the period, there will be no expansion of ‘Lifestyle’ stores.
In 2005-06, the company plans to expand the number of ‘Lifestyle’ stores from seven to 13 and hopes to garner a sales turnover of Rs 450 crore. By 2006-07, there will be 19 ‘Lifestyle’ stores spanning 1 million sqft of space compared to 55,000 sqft size of the seventh ‘Lifestyle’ store that has been recently launched at Inorbit Mall, Malad (Mumbai). For the purpose, the company has earmarked an investment budget of Rs 120 crore over the next two years, Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd managing director Kumar Sitaraman told FE.
Explained Mr Sitaraman: “As part of the strategy, we are planning to implement new HR initiatives wherein our focus will be to strengthen the internal organisation by way of positioning talented employees in key areas. For the purpose, we will undertake two aspects of training.”
To start with, the company will provide general training for customer service and secondly, impart product knowledge training. As part of the later training, the company has roped in a specialist in apparel from NIFT who has recently started imparting product training to employees of Lifestyle International at its office. And, this process will continue in future as well.
According to Mr Sitaraman: “During the consolidation period, we will also focus on organisation building by way of providing general and merchandise training. Our supply chain management initiatives will include developing and managing 1,000 vendors, understanding their fashion trends, building their resources in order to match up with our expectations and supplying goods on time. The fashion requirement, quality of merchandise, the finish and cost reduction by vendors will also be looked at.”
As part of the exercise, the company is also planning to increase private labels in categories where there are gaps in meeting the product need between the merchandise, warehouse and the show-room.