Online fashion lingerie brand PrettySecrets is looking at more than doubling its offline retail distribution to over 30 more exclusive stores. The brand is a young, fun, confident and empowering brand. They cater to modern Indian women between the age group of 23 to 35 years who are both fashion savvy and want comfort but are also looking for cost effective lingerie. They believe your everyday lingerie should not be boring and it should make you feel good and it does not have to be expensive. PrettySecrets, which started out with an e-store in 2012, at present has 25 exclusive brand outlets across cities like Mumbai, Imphal, Surat, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Baroda, Raipur, Goa, Dhanbad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Naharlagun, Trivandrum, Siliguri, Pune, and Itanagar. PrettySecrets is a versatile brand, with an objective to create aspirational intimate wear at a reasonable price. They plan to open 100 stores by end of 2019 and 250 stores by end of 2020 eventually will be present across metros, non-metros, high streets, and malls as well.
In an exclusive interview with Karan Behal, Founder & CEO, PrettySecrets, he shares its innovative retailing strategies in India.
What is your brand’s strategy? When will the construction begin?
K.B: The idea is to ensure we are present where majority of our audience is present. The idea is also to leverage on being present in multiple locations and neighbourhoods in regions where our audience is large. This also helps streamline supply chain, logistics, marketing, and overall operations. The goal has always been to build stores, which provide the perfect lingerie retail therapy to customers. Keeping this in mind, we’ve designed our stores to have a look and feel that is pampering, intimate yet aspirational, personable and fun. Our store staff is all-women, specifically to ensure the women shopping in stores feel comfortable and at ease. The staff is exceptionally trained in all things lingerie and beyond to guide a customer for what style and fit is best suited to her routine and body type. The store size is also apt to ensure we have the perfect amount of product display and adequate space / trial rooms to make it a comfortable shopping experience. To add extra convenience to the customer, we also have the option of shopping through our online catalogue in stores so that one can avail the styles /sizes that they like but which may / may not be in stores.
As for the new stores, as soon as we finalise the location, the construction begins. We target to finish fit out within 30 days to avoid unnecessary rental hit to the PnL. The ideal size of a PS store is about 300-500 sq ft. In future, we will explore options, which will fit into our size requirements.
At which stage is your expansion? What key differences are there now that you feel that a retail store is the right approach?
K.B: We are looking at a rapid expansion considering the target of 70 stores by the end of the FY. Over a period of time, we have learnt a lot from our past experience. Although our major goal is to penetrate the Indian market and to make lingerie available to all potential markets, we are very careful while picking the locations. The major key parameters that we are looking at are population, male vs female ratio, market potential in terms of how other brands are performing, traffic flow, BEP analysis, etc.
Will your in-store experience vary from store to store?
K.B: As a brand, we try and maintain a similar in-store experience across stores. However, there are a very few cases, wherein we plan stocks as per demand and the offers are tweaked seeing the store location, purchase power of customers, etc.
Over the years, how has the stock (products) changed and expanded, have you seen people’s tastes shift?
K.B: Our products have evolved over seasons for instance, PS has come up with a balanced blend of solid vs printed. The changes have been made after getting customer feedbacks regularly at product level. There is significant improvement in our products with every season, be it by playing around the patterns/features/styling, etc., or making the colours shuttle as per customers needs over a period of time.
What do you feel that markets like India and Southeast Asia can offer retailers?
K.B: India / Southeast Asia are one of the fastest emerging and most dynamic economies today. The huge potential lies in the large customer database to tap into. Change in consumer behaviour, change in customers mindset, a fashion forward yet comfort-seeking audience, all these factors are creating new untapped potential for a brand like PS.
Will you be launching any collection along with the store expansion? And how do you think it is going to appeal to the Indian market?
K.B: Once we reach to a scalable business model, we would surely want to bring in specific collection for EBOs, which will create a differentiation. However as of now, there is no immediate plan on the same. The collection will be very particular to EBO needs as in price point wise, cater to specific customer needs of urban market, etc., which will surely create new opportunities for us.