Go Fashion will be open 120-130 stores in 2022

Go Fashion aims to open 120-130 stores in 2014 and increase the store scale from 1,300 to 1,800 square meters, targeting both Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, according to Secretary-general Zhang Jianguo. Go Fashion Shanghai New Development Director Xu Cong said they’ll launch a new concept Go Big next year; meanwhile, the company will upgrade their flagship stores and tap online retailing.

Is your company taking advantage of the growth of e-commerce?

Online shopping is growing at 15-20 per cent year-on-year for the past three years, according to a report by RedSeer Consulting. The e-tailing market in India is expected to touch $32 billion by 2020. Is your company taking advantage of this growth?

One of the top brick-and-mortar retailers in India, Go Fashion, which is owned by RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, has been rapidly adding stores across tier I and II cities. Puneet Gupta, MD of the company, says retailing is far more complex than what they teach in management schools. “It’s not easy to be successful in retailing; it’s more difficult than making a film or building a software product,” he says. “E-commerce companies have to invest heavily in supply chain and logistics, and then there are issues like cash on delivery.”

Founded in 2002 as a single store experiment in Mumbai, the company now has 459 stores across the country with presence in 205 cities. It follows an asset-light model with revenue target of $1.7 billion by FY22 from about $500 million currently.

Do you have any advice to share with me?

The growth of e-commerce is posing a challenge to retailers, but it also provides opportunities.

We are working with e-commerce platforms like Tmall and JD to develop our own online stores. That allows us to tap into their huge customer base and gives us access to big data about consumers’ preferences.

Our online stores have become the most important sales channel for some of our brands, and we will continue to expand them.

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In addition, we have built up a strong social media presence on WeChat and other platforms that helps us attract customers.

We are also investing more in logistics. We are building a new warehouse in Beijing this year, which will be the largest logistics center in Asia dedicated to apparel products.

What does your current job entail?

The Indian fashion retail industry is expected to touch $53 billion by 2020, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 11 percent. How do you see your company taking advantage of the growth of e-commerce?

The Indian fashion retail industry is expected to touch $53 billion by 2020, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 11 percent. How do you see your company taking advantage of the growth of e-commerce?

The Indian fashion retail industry is expected to touch $53 billion by 2020, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 11 percent. How do you see your company taking advantage of the growth of e-commerce?

India has a large youth population. The youth who are 25 years and below comprise about 35 per cent of the country’s total population. We will continue to focus on this market segment and cater to their needs in terms of products, technology and online-offline experience on all our platforms. Over the last three years, we have been experiencing significant growth in our digital channels and expect this segment to grow up to 40 per cent this fiscal year. Our digital strategy would include social media campaigns, enhancing our mobile app experience as well as improving our search engine optimisation.

What has been your biggest challenge in the process of starting and running your business?

The biggest challenge has been to bring in the right talent. Our team is the most critical piece because we are constantly expanding and we are looking to improve our service and product offering. We have been successful at hiring people who share our vision and values, which has helped us stay on track in terms of meeting our goals.

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What advice would you give to someone starting a retail business?

We would advise them to know their market inside out. It is important to know what you want to offer your customers prior to opening your store. Also, it’s very important to be passionate about what you do; retail is an extremely demanding industry and will require you to work long hours in order to succeed.

What do you think are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a local company competing against international brands?

Our advantage as a local company is that we understand the local market better than any international brand. We also have design experts who constantly travel abroad and who keep an eye on international trends, which makes it possible for us to compete with these brands at a very high level – offering customers products that combine international fashion trends with local tastes.

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