Spencer's Retail goes on-ground to attract footfalls

By Tarana Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | December 29, 2008
The retail chain is targeting children and women through its BTL activities in schools and residential areas

Spencer's & #BANNER1 & # Retail, the multiformat retail chain owned by the RPG Group, has turned to below-the-line activities to increase footfalls in its stores. The company has identified two consumer segments that are key to influencing the family - women and children.

With a particular focus on children, Spencer's initiated the Good to Grow programme, which conducts theme based activities in schools every month. The programme has reached about 80,000 children in 150 schools across six cities. Recently, Spencer's concluded the month long second phase of the programme on Children's Day on November 14.

Speaking to afaqs!, Giri Manish, head, alliances and activation, Spencer's Retail, says, "As a retailer, we are a national brand, but we have to service customers locally, according to their requirements. Therefore, an above-the-line campaign works only to an extent and below-the-line initiatives serve our purpose better."

The Good to Grow programme is targeted at children under the age of 10 years, who attend primary school. "A school gives us density under one roof to reach a large number of children," explains Manish. Since the activity is carried out over a couple of days, this creates brand identification in the parents' minds as well, he adds.

"Spencer's wanted to give back to society through this programme, through the children," says Atul Nath, managing director of Candid Marketing, the agency which executed the activity.

The Children's Day programme consisted of an activity in which children were asked to draw their favourite toy. The best pictures were awarded gifts such as discount vouchers at Spencer's.

For this activity, the company also tied up with an NGO, Mobile Creches, which helps the children of daily labourers. The schoolchildren were made aware of the needs of underprivileged children and asked to donate a toy to them or an unused sketch book.

In the first phase of the programme in September, Spencer's conducted an activity around Teacher's Day, in which children were asked to draw their favourite teacher. The most popular teachers received gift vouchers from Spencer's and its partners.

Around 36,000 submissions were collected from children as a result of these activities.

Other sponsors and partners were also involved in the programme. These included Max New York Life, which conducted a lead-generation activity. Spencer's also had trading partners such as ITC, Cargill Foods and Bush Foods.

At an event in Kolkata, where actor Aparna Sen was also present (Sen has been associated with Mobile Creches), Spencer's presented the toys to the NGO and Bush Foods made a monetary donation.

The Good to Grow programme will conduct another activity in January 2009, says Manish, but doesn't disclose any further details.

For women, Spencer's has a programme called At Home with Spencer's. As part of this, the company organises regular workshops on subjects such as health, cooking and interior décor in residential apartments. Experts share their views at these workshops and the women are encouraged to share theirs.

Spencer's Retail has 400 stores across 66 cities in India and claims to receive around 4.5 million customers a month.