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Fashion Retail’s Generation Next: Akshay Kapoor, Director, Kapsons Group

Embark on a captivating journey through the realms of fashion as we unveil the tales of the next generation in fashion retail. This special series delves into the scions of iconic fashion houses, exploring their transition into the limelight and the weight of their inherited legacies. From the roots of celebrated labels to the strategic innovations that set them apart, we scrutinize the financial narratives, marketing choreography, technological advancements, and sustainable endeavors that define the modus operandi of these modern-day fashion empires. As these brands traverse new territories and adapt to industry shifts, we unravel the resilience and adaptability that shape their success. Let’s unravel the stories, strategies, and successes of fashion’s next generation.

This week, IMAGES Business of Fashion delves into the extraordinary life and achievements of Akshay Kapoor, Director, Kapsons Group.

Brand Overview
Founded in the late 80’s by Vipin and Darpan Kapoor, Kapsons embarked on a journey that revolutionized fashion retail. Pioneering the concept of a one-stop-shop for international brands, Kapsons has grown to be a household name, boasting a diverse portfolio including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Vero Moda, and more. With 25 stores across 19 cities, 6 states, and 1 Union Territory, Kapsons reigns as a leader in retail, distribution, technology, outsourcing, and service provision.

Values and Principles
At the core of Kapsons’ identity lies a commitment to ethical business practices, transparency, and an unwavering dedication to providing an exceptional customer experience. The brand believes in empowering customers with knowledge and enabling informed choices.

Generational Transition
Under the new leadership, Kapsons has strategically shifted its vision. Premium, customer-friendly stores now define their brand positioning, conveying an exclusive and upscale image. The emphasis on services over products reȷ ects recognition of the growing importance of customer experience.

Educational Background and Expertise
The next generation, consisting of four individuals with diverse educational backgrounds, brings a wealth of perspectives to the table. This diversity contributes to well-rounded decision-making, fostering creativity and comprehensive problem-solving. Specialization in different departments enhances efficiency and allows for individualized strategies.

Strategies for Success
The transformation stemmed from the Anniversary and the GFC (Global Fashion Celebration). Akshay Kapoor reveals that the 10-day sale contributes 10% to annual sales, shifting from short-term targets to a concentrated approach. With a 4-day specific target, the leadership instilled urgency, yielding highly profitable results. Additionally, the Loyalty Program, embraced by 3.5 lakh members, offers exclusive benefits via the Royale Club App, including gift coupons, birthday perks, and more.

Marketing and Branding
Under the guidance of new leadership, Kapsons has strategically utilized social media platforms, collaborated with influencers, and established the Kapsons Squad to amplify its brand presence. Active across Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest, the company has successfully cultivated a fresh and diverse target audience. The engagement with micro-influencers has been particularly instrumental in broadening the brand’s reach and resonance, especially within regional demographics

Sustainability Initiatives
According to Akshay Kapoor, Kapsons prioritizes building a legacy over immediate sustainability, aiming for a lasting impact on the industry. The goal is a financially self-sufficient business model, achieved through efficiency, technology, and streamlined operations, preserving tradition while embracing innovation for resilience in changing markets. It focuses on customer-centricity by shifting to a service-oriented approach. Expansion into B2B services demonstrates a commitment to diversification. Initiatives for employee work-life balance attract fresh perspectives, fostering innovation and adaptability.

Expansion Plans
For the initial three decades, Kapsons held sway over Punjab, but in the past 4-5 years, the company strategically expanded into new territories, including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. This proactive approach to geographic diversification is fueled by a recognition of untapped markets and growth potential in neighboring states. Despite the expansion, the brand’s essence, encapsulated in the tagline ‘Bringing Global Brands Together,’ remains steadfast, preserving customer beliefs and historical trust in Kapsons as a Multi-Brand Outlet (MBO) specializing in international brands. Notably, the decision to maintain a focus on selling global brands and refrain from introducing in-house products distinguishes Kapsons, reinforcing its unique identity in the market while strategically positioning itself for continued success.

Financial Metrics and Store Presence
With 25 stores covering 19 cities, Kapsons targets growth at a rate of 3 stores per year. The goal is to reach 4 lakh sq. ft. by 2025 from an area of 2.5 lakh sq. ft. at present, reflecting a proactive approach to expansion.

E-commerce and Omnichannel Strategies
Kapsons has embraced online platforms for brand visibility, recognizing the importance of engaging with customers online. The brand’s strong online presence and responsiveness to dynamic market demands ensure competitiveness.

Advice for Family Fashion Businesses in Transition
In navigating generational transitions, embrace patience and acceptance. Recognize that this process takes time and involves a learning curve as you assume new responsibilities. While respecting the legacy of the previous generation, focus on carving out your own identity by bringing unique perspectives, skills, and innovations to the table. Strive for a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, honoring the invaluable experience of the past while infusing fresh perspectives and energy. Finding this balance will be key to a successful transition.

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