In the beautiful city of Mysore, is the location for a family store that offers satisfying shopping experience for all.
Mr Narthan, Partner, Cadabam’s endeavours to make the entire experience of lingerie shopping a wholesome one for the family.
Started by Mr Narthan’s father Mr Nagesh Cadabam in the year 1987, it was a shop located at Devaraju Road, Mysore. “From 2004, I joined the business and started expanding in different locations and now we’ve three locations,” says Mr Narthan.
Mr Narthan’s father started with a garment store for the whole family and in 2002 he turned it into an innerwear store as he saw the potential for growth in this category. “People wanted exclusivity in this segment for more variety. So, seeing the potential we converted it into an exclusive undergarment store,” Mr Narthan tells us.
They wanted to give their customers the experience of a Large Format Store that offers a good shopping experience, where people stroll around and it is a one-stop for the entire family. “Mainly we stock innerwear; normally people have everything. We have everything related to lingerie…innerwear, loungewear, nightwear, sportswear, swimwear, thermal, maternity wear, and small accessories such as disposable panties, pads, etc. Basically, we want to give an atmosphere of an outerwear store in our innerwear store,” explains Mr Narthan.
As mentioned, Cadabam’s exists in three different locations in Mysore… Kuvempunagar, which is spread across 3,500 sq ft that was started in 2012 and has a staff strength of 10, including one manager. This is also the largest store. The other two are located at Devraju, which is 1700 sq ft and Saraswathipuram that’s spreads across 800 sq ft. The total staff strength in all the three stores is 20 and there are three managers in all.
LNL spoke to Mr Narthan to give more insight about his largest store in Kuvempu and plans for the future as well…
Do tell us about the interiors and decor of the store. Also give us details of Visual Merchandising?
The interiors are a combination of self-picking hanging display and traditional counter sales system to suit all types of customers. We normally have two colours and a maximum of three to keep it neat looking. The colours we’ve used are grey with white. The third colour depends upon the brand and the space in which the respective products are displayed ; that space would have a different colour. Off late we are trying to make it into a shop-in-shop model as it gives more depth and defines the brand’s identity, while adding colour to the store. This space is dedicated to a brand and they have their own designs, own models.
And yes, we do give importance to Visual Merchandising (VM) by giving poster space to the respective brands and also mannequins to add to the shopping experience. And, we keep changing the VM every six months. It usually depends on the new products; this also gives a fresh look to the store.
What aspects of retail concepts were kept in mind while designing this store? Have you been able to achieve these objectives?
The store has been designed to have good visual effect of the products and brands and also to have a comfortable walk through for the customers, to have a better shopping experience. We have able to achieve most of it as customers are happy shopping with us. Basically, the main idea is to give them a better shopping experience and also offer good visibility of the products.
What is the philosophy behind Cadabam’s?
At Cadabam’s utmost importance is given to customer satisfaction and the service offered to them. We have extremely well trained staff who give customers proper service and choice and show the products according to the customers’ requirements.
We have many customers who say that they walked in to buy just one product but ended up buying more than one. Also, there is something new for them every time they visit our store. We also ensure that at every 2-3 months there is some new addition in the product lines or the designs. So, every time customers visit the store, they have something new to view.
What is the retail strategy planned and how it is being implemented to reach out to your customers?
Most important in retail is human resource; we normally have additional staff so that they give better service to our customers. Normally, for this kind of big set-up a staff of 7-8 is enough, but we keep 10 as there are people who are on leave everyday. We give weekly offs to everyone.
As far as the customers are concerned, we have a loyalty programme for our regular customers, we have a Customer Loyalty Programme (CLP) where for every 100 rupees of purchase they get three points and it can be redeemed once the points reach the 150 mark. They can redeem these across the three stores.
What makes for a good retail environment and how has this changed with the advent of online shopping?
A good retail environment is a combination of offering good products, a better shopping experience, good service to customers and also to be aesthetically good. Though our products are basic necessities, the availability of the products in large format stores and with growing EBO stores, the expectation of customers have changed and as an MBO we need to accommodate accordingly.
With online shopping people have better knowledge of the product, but that hasn’t affected us much, in the sense that we are maintaining more varieties to satisfy customer needs. For us, more than online, it is LFS that gives competition.
How are you able to integrate the offers online with that on the offline channel? How big a challenge is this?
Basically online shoppers are the younger generation who prefer fashionable and private labels. Even if it is a brand then the styles that are offered online are different from offline. Also, with almost 4 to 5 years of the existence of the online market, now the customers are different there compared to the offline format. I would say that the LFOs selling our category are our major competitors.
What are your return policies when it comes to retail?
Normally we don’t take back innerwear. Regular bras, loungewear, etc., are taken back within 7-10 days. This is an exchange and money is not returned. However, if there is a manufacturing defect, the money is returned to the customer.
What are your plans going ahead?
We are planning to open more number of stores, within Mysore and also around Mysore. We are looking for a good location.