Hyderabad: Lifestyle retail company Fabindia, which has set up 318 stores across 118 cities of India and 14 international stores, is planning to add more experience centres in the country. The company has about 22 experience centres in India out of the total stores it operates. This fiscal, 72 stores are being added, including 25 experience centres.
Out of the 318 stores in operation, 231 are company-owned and 87 are franchisee-owned. Fabindia stores typically are in the range of 3,000-3,500 sq ft while the experience stores are in the range of 8,500-12,000 sq ft. The company on an average invests Rs 3,000 on a sq ft, and for a 10,000 sq ft store, it invests Rs 3 crore.
Fabindia, which is in its 60th year of operations, aims to blend indigenous craft techniques with contemporary designs, presenting handcrafted products to consumers using natural materials and fibres. The product range extends from a variety of apparel for men, women and children to home furnishings, furniture, gifts, jewellery, organic food, and personal care products. The company today engages over 50,000 artisans.
Offline business currently contributes to 96 per cent of the company’s business, while online contributes the remaining four per cent, but fast growing. The company is keen to keep its products and offerings relevant to the current market expectations.
Ajay Kapoor, president-Retail, Fabindia told Telangana Today, “When the idea of Fabindia experience centre was conceived in 2016-17, we were looking at creating neighbourhood stores where we can have 100 reasons to get the customer to the store. The centres provide an alternative shopping experience by shifting from transactional exchanges to a more experiential and interactive experience. In addition to the signature offering, the centres house a FabCafé, kids zone called Tug Bug, a wellness centre, an interior design studio and an alteration studio in addition to other offerings. Experience really matters in retail and that’s what we are creating for our customers.”
He added, “Seeing the merits of the experience centre format, we are looking at consolidation in terms of converting the earlier format stores into large-format experience stores. Home and lifestyle categories remain a key focus area for us, contributing 20 per cent of our overall business today. Being a diversified product player, we have an edge over our competitors. We want to make our experience centres more and more experiential.”
Fabindia plans to take the total count of experience centres to 35 by March 2020 and add another 25 experience centres during the next fiscal. The company expects that experience centres would account for 30 per cent of the overall store space, going forward.
The company has launched its second experience centre in Hyderabad at Gachibowli on Saturday, taking to the pan-India total to 22. The centre is being designed keeping in mind the multi-dimensional offering that extends across a number of categories and services.
“Looking at the potential we see in Hyderabad, we anticipate that in the next financial year, we will add at least three more experience centres. We would also make inroads into tier-3 cities both in Telangana and across India. Smaller cities are certainly on our radar,” Kapoor informed.
Fabindia-controlled health and wellness brand Organic India currently manufactures all its products at its Lucknow facility (Uttar Pradesh). These products are also made available in the Fabindia’s stores, including the experience centres pan-India.
Kapoor added, the company may not look at making products for Fabindia on its own, however, it will stay committed to handhold artisans across the country.