A store that welcomes its visitors with a pleasant ambiance and a serene environment, Beyond Desire, in Kolkata aims to give its customers an enriching experience. Shopping for innerwear is an intimate experience for any woman and man and this new store in Star Mall endeavours to offer something for every customer that walks in.
Everyone has dreams of growth and many have one of becoming an entrepreneur. It was the same for Mr Dipankar Datta, or rather his wife Mrs Rupa Datta. Beyond Desire’s first store opened in Sun City Mall, Barasat on 6th May in 2015. The date is special for him as he considers it lucky as it is also the day his daughter was born. For Mr Datta, it was a third inning, as he states, as he had served in the Indian Navy and had also worked in the corporate sector. Later, on the insistence of his wife, Ms Datta, who felt that he should now do something for himself and become an entrepreneur, Mr Datta decided to open a lingerie store as he thought his wife could also take it up in the future. The whole idea of a lingerie store was to establish his wife and hence, the first store was launched.
After a few years, since his wife had an urge to grow and expand the business, they decided to open the second store at Star Mall in Madhyamgram, Kolkata. And hence, Beyond Desire – Innerwear, Nightwear & THAT’S NOT ALL was launched on 8th October 2018.
We take a look at Mr Datta’s trajectory and speak to him about Beyond Desire’s second store launch…
How would you define your new store in Kolkata?
For us, we would say it is the best store and we’ve successfully overcome the mistakes we made earlier when we opened our first store.
Do tell us the space in sq ft and the number of people (staff) in the store including the manager.
In the new store we’ve only two staff members—one senior and one junior; me and my wife manage the store. The total size is 342 sq ft and about 200 sq ft in carpet area.
Do tell us about the interiors and decor of the store. Also, give us details of Visual Merchandising?
The display part is done by light coloured wall paper, i.e., white and light lemon and light blue. This has a soft design like the palaces in Rajasthan. Inside the store, the colours of walls are white and the ceiling too is white. It is covered by interior and the colours are blue and white. We go by astrological colours for the furniture, which is a combination of blue and white. We don’t have mannequins as both the stores are in the interiors and the mindset is different there. So, we have an open display and the entire store has glass and the lingerie is itself is easily visible. Also, we’ve made a big signage with all the brands’ logos on it.
Besides, we have one trial room in the store as well as sufficient storage space. As, in lingerie, there are many sizes and many pieces in one colour. So, we have enough space to have a good stock and fulfil the needs of the customer.
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 by me and display is my main aspect. That’s why everything is open display. Yes, I’ve been able to achieve my objectives so far.
What is the philosophy behind Beyond Desire?
Our aim is of course, customer satisfaction and my main objective is that all customers should be happy so we keep a variety of brands so that all categories of brands are available. We’ve kept brands according to the price range as well so we can cater to all segments of customers. They should not be disappointed and can purchase as per their desire and leave the shop happily.
What is the retail strategy planned and how it is being implemented to reach out to your customers?
We never force any customer to buy a certain products; they should be comfortable to buy in their retail budget. We go by their budget and we do make recommendations, so if they want they can go by that stick to what they have planned to buy. Ultimately, we want our customers to be happy while leaving the store. However, the premium customers are always taken care of accordingly.
Highlights of store –
- Each product of the store is well displayed
- Exclusively trained ladies and fit experts are available for assistance
- Exclusive Trail Room is available
- Complimentary Privilege Card is given to our customers to avail the ongoing exclusive offers.
The innerwear brands that we are associated with are Triumph, Amante, Jockey (Men and Women), Enamor, Laavian, Daisy Dee, Lovable, Bodycare. While the nightwear brands are Valentine, Sukanya, Elle Belle. And we have Speedo in swimwear along with all types of accessories such as socks, stockings, hand gloves, etc.
What makes for a good retail environment and how has this changed with the advent of online shopping?
The retail is down because of online shopping as they give heavy discounts and this affects small MBOs like us. As far as our store is concerned, it is the display and the comfort zone and this largely depends on the sales representative that is catering to the customer. The fit expert should know the right product to suggest to the customer. Also, the display should be neat and clean and a fragrance enhances the beauty and environment of the store. But yes, the retail environment has changed and we could not have such premium lingerie stores here in this regions but now the generation is more open and opt for varieties. But, at the same time there are two groups of customers…one are money conscious, while the other are fit and brand conscious.
How are you able to integrate the offers online with that on the offline channel? How big a challenge is this?
It is never possible because the offers that the online platforms get from brands to give the customers are very huge, which facility is not extended to the retail MBO. It is very difficult, even if an MBO is given that facility, which is extremely rare.
What are your return policies when it comes to retail?
We don’t have a return policy at all. Nightwear and swimming costumes can be exchanged in two working days as long as the product purchased along with its label is intact. Also, as we’ve a trial room, the question of returns does not arise. Even after that, if they come back with in two working days, we deal with it as a case-to-case basis.
What are your plans going ahead?
We are already planning to continue our journey of expansion and to open another store in Kolkata. This is because the market conditions from the start of 2019 or rather from end of 2018 have been a little bleak.