No plans to tie up with e-commerce players at this point: Sr VP, Marketing, V-Mart

Snehal Shah talks to exchange4media about their revamped marketing strategy and the plan to open 25 new stores across the country by year-end

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 8:51 AM

V-Mart, a fashion store brand known for its wide presence in Tier II, III and IV cities, has revamped its marketing strategy. The brand, which earlier used to promote itself through OOH and print media (regional), is now aggressively adopting TV and social media. Also, V-Mart recently roped in actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar as its brand ambassadors and unveiled a new TVC featuring the two.

Talking about their new strategy, Snehal Shah, Sr VP Marketing and Operations, V- Mart, said, “Last year, we upgraded our store interiors to provide better quality services and products to our consumers. This year, we have brought in brand ambassadors. Our motive is to stand out from the rest.”

The company plans to open 25 new stores across the country by the end of this year, reaching the 200 mark. The move will surely expand its production and distribution in tier markets. The brand currently operates 176 stores across 148 cities in India (primarily Tier II, III and IV markets), with a chain of ‘Value Retail’ departmental stores.

Sharing the company’s expansion plan, Shah said, “We always keep searching for new markets. We are aiming for double-digit growth for this FY 18-19.”

The company is currently growing at 30% CAGR. In FY 16-17, it reported a revenue of Rs 1,050 crore.
Elaborating on their plan to open new stores, Shah said, “V- Mart has been following a cluster-based approach for the last 12 years. We open new stores within the 50-100 km radius of an existing store. Our expansion strategy is two-pronged: Expanding to new territories- towns, cities or even states-- and opening more stores in cities where we are already present but there is further untapped potential. The whole idea behind this expansion is to understand the demand of the people in these cities and change the assortments according to their requirements.”

According to Shah, they always try to offer products and services keeping in mind the latest trends.

“When it comes to product segment, our merchandising team continuously works towards analysing the latest fashion trends and customizing them as per the local tastes and preferences, that too at a value-pricing. For the service segment, we constantly upgrade our stores as per the international standards to provide a seamless and effortless shopping experience to the customers,” Shah said.

With our CLP programme, our endeavour is to provide customized offerings to consumers on the basis of their prior shopping trends and preferences, he added.

V-Mart focusses extensively on the apparel segment.

“Mostly 80-85% of our sales comes from apparels; 10-12% is non- apparel, whereas only 5-7% is from the FMCG segment,” explained Snehal.

“We believe that we should do things in which we have a strong presence. There is lot of competition in FMCG. We do not have any future plans to invest in FMCG. It has not shown much positive results to us,” revealed Shah.

He further said, “Metro cities have been bombarded with many brands. But in the regional markets, there are only few brands, and in Tier 4 markets there is nothing. We at V-Mart always focus on the bottom line rather than the top line. And we are the only retailer who has been profitable right through its existence.”

While brands are partnering with e-commerce players to reach out to the consumers easily, V-Mart believes in a different business model.

“E-commerce is not showing great profits and is facing challenges in their own businesses. Whenever, we feel that the right time to opt for e-commerce in the business model has come, we will do so. But at this point, there are no plans,” concluded Shah.

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