A store that believes in offering the best to the customers, whether in innerwear or sleepwear, Gopalsons Lingerie, offers a relaxing experience while shopping for essentials. With a new store that opened recently in New Delhi, which has a beautiful collection of nightwear, it’s a one-stop stop for all your nightwear needs as well as lingerie.
The journey stated in 1995 when Gopalsons opened a lingerie store. However, Mr Umesh Vasisht, Director, Gopalsons Lingerie Pvt. Ltd. Actually started work in 1975 by having basic accessories in his outlet. In the year ’95 they entered the lingerie store segment with an exclusive lingerie shop. Mr Kulwant Singh, who was a client, introduced them to bras (in 1986) and they started their journey from thereon. They received a good response and slowly, they moved towards lingerie exclusively. Now, they have six stores in Delhi itself and are on an expansion spree with aiming to open stores in other zones as well.
Recently, they opened one exclusively for sleepwear in Greater Kailash, one of the upscale districts of the capital. We spoke to Mr Umesh Vasisht, Director, Gopalsons Lingerie Pvt. Ltd. To gain insight about the new store, their philosophy behind it and future plans.
How would you define your store in Delhi?
It is an exclusive lingerie retail store in one of the posh markets of South Delhi. We have very few exclusive lingerie shops in Delhi; mostly there are stores that sell cosmetics, jewellery, garments all together and there’s one counter for lingerie. But ours is an exclusive store dedicated only to lingerie. It’s in Greater Kailash, which is the prime location and very old and posh market of the area. It’s an upmarket area.
Do tell us the space in sq ft and the number of people (staff) in the store including the manager.
It’s spread over 750 sq ft with a total of six staff members (including the store manager); it has only one level.
Do tell us about the interiors and décor of the store. Also give us details of Visual Merchandising?
This particular store is more spacious and easier to navigate and has bigger trial rooms compared to our other stores. we have two trial rooms and we have two mannequins at the entrance and four small mannequins at the stairs, as the store is in the basement. We’ve used the colours red and white, i.e., panelling of red and white as it adds a dash of glamour for overall, while the ceiling is plain white. There’s good LED lighting as well and we’ve used lights of very good quality from Havel’s that are detachable and movable. Inside the store we have four gondolas as well for display and sale.
What aspects of retail concepts were kept in mind while designing this store? Have you been able to achieve these objectives?
In this store we have highlighted the nightwear collection exclusively as in this market, the nightwear sells more. And, we have surely tried to achieve the best of display so far, keeping the latest trends and styles in mind. And we strive to create a better atmosphere to provide more choices to the customer at our store.
We have brands such as Triumph, Amante, Enamor, Jockey, Candyskin, Candour, SOIE, Smilzo, Sweet Dreams, Kanvin, Zenia, etc.
What is the philosophy behind Gopalsons?
It is to be the one-stop-shop for all intimate wear needs. Hence, we have incorporated a vast variety of styles and sizes, to meet all our customers demands. We are constantly putting in efforts to keep our collection updated.
It was difficult to get lingerie in all sizes a few years ago and we’ve urged them to make various sizes; so, today, we have many sizes.
Brands too, used to make regular sizes and we had customers who even asked for 32 G, 32 D, etc. But companies didn’t manufacture these sizes as they thought it was risky as it would not sell. But slowly, the manufacturers understood the need for this and started producing all sizes.
What is the retail strategy planned and how it is being implemented to reach out to your customers?
We are pushing to open more stores in all major markets and amalgamating offline and online promotions. Besides, now, in NCR, there’s stress on the high street market and it’s a good thing. We have many plans in the pipeline and we are not particular about opening stores in Delhi only. As long as we get manpower we have plans to open more stores as our infrastructure is ready.
Since, the past one and a half year, online and EBOs have made it difficult for us as customers are diverted there. Also, they offload their discontinued stock and put it on sale.
So, we too have tied up with brands and we offer those products on a discount. We give the same discounts that customers get online (for certain brands) and in EBOs as well, for the products. And we are trying to extend it to other brands. We are doing it in all the categories but the percentage is higher in bras and panties.
What makes for a good retail environment and how has this changed with the advent of online shopping?
A personalised experience and building a meaningful relationship is still only possible offline. Our staff gets re-trained every 15 days about how to deal with the customers and cater to their needs. The only thing that has changed are the discounts that one gets online. LFS stores have expanded in terms of area, however, fresh products are quite few here and there are discounts and offers round the year. That’s why we have made a wall in our stores where we display products that are on discounts round the year.
For a good retail environment there are three aspects that are kept in mind…there should be a good stock according to the needs of the customers, the staff should be well trained and courteous, and the third is offering discounts to compete with the online players.
How are you able to integrate the offers online with that on the offline channel? How big a challenge is this?
I believe majority of the general population still purchases garments, specially intimate wear, from brick and mortar stores where they can actually experience the product before buying it and feel what’s best on their skin. The whole situation is on the rise and is quite challenging for sure. In fact, it has become a challenge now.
What are your return policies when it comes to retail?
Our return policies are flexible and we do hundred per cent replacement. If the customer is not satisfied with their purchase, we do accept returns. In panties, we are selling three-piece packs and single pack is very less. Nobody gets a single piece for return but in three-piece, sometimes, they come to return the two pieces and we accept that. We usually take returns without any questions no matter after how long a customer wishes to return the product.
What are your plans going ahead?
We are targeting to open a chain of 25 retail stores in Delhi/NCR by the year 2021. And we are pushing everyday to better the experience we offer our customers.