Customer centricity is our success mantra: Venu Nair, MD & CEO, Shoppers Stop

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Shoppers Stop, India’s leading fashion and beauty destination, ‘curates fashion that speaks to the hearts of its customers’. It takes great pride in its large presence in the retail sector, with 102 (including airport doors) stores spread across 50 cities in India. In an exclusive interaction with Images Business of Fashion, Venu Nair, MD and CEO, Shoppers Stop said, “With increasing usage of social media, the fashion aspiration of tier 1 and tier 2 towns is on a high. Customers want to be updated with latest fashion and beauty trends and are ready to invest.”

Excerpts from the exclusive interaction

With 83 stores across 38 cities across the country, you are well positioned. To what factors would you attribute this achievement? 

We take great pride in our large presence in the retail sector, with:

  • 102 (including airport doors) stores spread across 50 cities in India
  • 7 Home Stops
  • 11 SS Beauty
  • 142 beauty specialty stores
  • 9 million loyal customers

Customer centricity is our key mantra of success. With over 9 million loyal customers, Shoppers Stop continues to be one of the most loved destinations. As a brand we have always believed in delivering a great experience to the customers, along with best-curated brands, trending styles, exclusive brands, and lot more.

Venu Nair, MD & CEO, Shoppers Stop

Your presence in Tier 2 and 3 is growing fast in comparison to metros. Which one of these is giving you more business?

With increasing usage of social media, the fashion aspiration of Tier 1 and tier 2 towns is on a high. Customers want to be updated with latest fashion and beauty trends and are ready to invest. Although we continue to see good growth in our metro stores, we see a significant growth opportunity in Tier 1 and tier 2.

Out of the 11 departmental stores we opened in the last financial year

  • 2 were in metros
  • 9 were in tier 1 and tier 2 towns

What challenges do you face in finding good retail space in Tier 2 and 3 cities and towns?

Today, most smaller towns are very well developed. Hence, over a period of time, most challenges are ironed out. However, finding the right location always is a challenge, be it metros or smaller towns.

What retail technology have you introduced to make shopping at Shoppers Stop more engaging? Please discuss.

Shoppers Stop is an omnichannel fashion and beauty destination. We continuously invest in technology to improvise customer experience and bridge the gap between online and offline shopping. Something that is unique to is the Personal Shopper initiative. Customers can book a prior appointment via the app for a personalized shopping experience. We invest a lot in backend technology as well to help us know our customers better, to give them a much more personalized experience.

What efforts have you invested in ensuring that your stores are more sustainable? How green are your buildings?

We have initiated multiple projects towards sustainability. Some of them include:

  • Biodegradable packaging
  • Better cotton initiatives
  • Eco-friendly seed tags for private brands

A lot of big brands today are associated with Shoppers Stop. What factors do you consider before any association?

Being a house of brands and a fashion and beauty destination, it’s important to curate the right brands. We have very strict guardrails that we follow before we collaborate with any brand. Some of them are

  • Brand performance
  • Trending styles
  • Range (of products)
  • Price points
  • Customer value proposition
  • Customer feedback and demand

Your positive Q4 results are due to strong demand for beauty products and higher margin private-label clothing. What do they mean for the big fashion brands?

The 3Cs – Consistency, Customer Centricity, and Capital allocation have helped us ensure strong results quarter on quarter. Additionally, our Q4 results are on the back of ‘onboarding of new national brands’ and expansion, along with focus on our key strategic pillars i.e. ‘beauty’ and ‘private brands’. This also gives fashion brands the opportunity to grow faster along with us.

What more can we expect from Shoppers Stop in the coming years?

Customer centricity will continue to be at the core of all our decisions. We will continue to follow the 3Cs framework that I have already mentioned and strengthen our key strategic pillars – beauty, private brands and expansion.

In line with our brand purpose of inspiring India to look good and feel confident, we will bring the best of brands to India. We have already onboarded Nars, Clarins and select brands of , L’Oreal as a part of our distribution business. We have also launched URYou – a plus size fashion brand.

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