BANGALORE, October 4
'The Bombay Store', an up market lifestyle chain-of-stores of Mumbai and Pune, was launched in Bangalore yesterday. The Rs 16-crore chain claims to offer a unique shopping experience to the 'discerning' customer. Housed in a heritage building in the garden-city, the shop covers over 30,000 sq feet spread over six floors, and retails a wide range of products including clothes, furnishings, handicrafts, herbs, spices, leather goods, jewellery, toys etc.
In addition there is also a cafeteria for the tired shopper. The store in Bangalore will be the largest among the total of four stores, two in Mumbai and one in Pune.
But why Bangalore? Why not open in a bigger market like Delhi?
"We decided to open the store here since Bangalore today is one of the most vibrant, fashion-conscious and trendy cities in India. It is also attracting a lot of domestic and international leisure tourists and IT traffic. The Bombay Store is a landmark in Mumbai and Pune. We are sure it will be the same in Bangalore," adds Dalal.
The Bombay Store chain is widely regarded as the single major competition to Mumbai-based Shopper's Stop. With its origins dating back to 1905 under the aegis of late industrialist Manmohandas Ramji, it certainly has the lineage, but is it chic enough to compete with the best and come out tops?
Asim Dalal, managing director, The Bombay Store, "Our service is on par with any international store, if not better. We take personal care of our customers. While shopping at our store, not once will shoppers get the feeling that they are being watched, followed or hounded by our sales persons. At the same time, our sales persons are just a glance away, when they need them".
Vishal Kapoor, CEO, The Bombay Store goes a step further in discounting competition, "We don't perceive Shopper's Stop as competition simply because of the difference in the clientele and the image of the two brands. While Shopper's Stop is focused on apparel and accessories catering to an age group from six to 60, we are a more of a branded gift shop with an ethnic touch for the mature buyer, including expats and tourists. Yes, we (Shopper's Stop and The Bombay Store) have a lot of products in common, but the differentiation lies in the image."
Kapoor adds in the same breath, that competition does exist in the form of government emporiums, smaller boutiques etc.
For the current financial year, the company is targeting a turnover of Rs 25-30 crore, as opposed to Rs 16 crore for the last year. Moreover, the company claims that the Bangalore store will break even within the current fiscal.
With such high growth ambitions, it's not surprising that the company has earmarked a substantial 3 per cent (of the Rs 25-30 crore projected turnover) for advertising and promotional activities. With the support of its agency - Aloknanda Communications - the company will continue targeting regional newspapers, hotel and travel guides and specific corporate publications like JetWings (the in-flight magazine of Jet Airways).
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