Marketing strategy Mar, 23 2011

Locate the Viable Locality

Ever changing lifestyle of the youth and never ending demands of kids today have opened the doors for the retailers to explore retail opportunity in the vicinity of schools, colleges or universities. Franchising is further providing an inroad to these new

By Ramanjit Kaur
Feature Writer
Locate the Viable Locality

Schools and colleges offer lucrative markets for the retailers to cater to the rising needs of the school, college and university going students, who constitutes a major part of the Indian population. Opening a retail store, be it a fast food joint in or near the school, college or university premises or a stationary, bookstore, or a gift gallery, youth driven brands do their best and generate lump some profits. As Vijayant Chabbra, ED, Archies Ltd says, “Definitely for our kind of product; schools, colleges and universities are one of the best locations to open retail outlets. Because we cater to this particular class of people, so, opening an outlet near these avenues always work. However, these retail outlets will prove to be a success only if it is not isolated. There should always be some kind of market around to make the most of these locations.” The article will give you an insight of this profitable location and what all a franchisor or franchisee has to take care of to get benefited.

Location matters

Right location is proportionate to the needs and requirements of the consumers occupying the vicinity of the outlet. The locations near schools, colleges and universities are providing various brands rewarding destinations to expand into. Fast food joints like Kaati Zone, Au Bon Pain, KFC, McDonald’s, Yum Yum Dimsum; ice cream parlours or carts like Kwality Walls, Cocoberry; Café chains like CCD, FMCG brands like Safal and gift gallery like Archies Ltd and many more brands that cater to young generation of India are now exploring these potential destinations to enjoy the larger share of the pie. As Chabbra shares, “The highest selling shop of ours is in Kamla Nagar that we have opened 20 years back. It totally caters to the university students.” CCD is presently running 20 outlets on school and college campuses. It is also planning to set up its outlets at IIM Bangalore, IIT Chennai, at Amity institutes and many other places.

Franchising is of great help

The rising economy, spending power and brand consciousness make the brands of various sectors to realise the significance of franchising and motivated them to take the franchise route for expansion. Franchising keeps them optimistic about their long haul in locations which are near schools, colleges and universities. Franchising is the most viable option for retailers to expand lucratively nears schools and college campuses. Retailer can make the most of the local knowledge of the franchisee and accordingly come up with selected options to drive the targeted customers in to a franchised outlet. The best reasons for opting franchise expansion route in the vicinity of schools and colleges are: 

  • Fast expansion: Franchising helps to expand at a quicker pace as compared to company owned outlets.
  • Local know how of the franchisee: franchisee being a local can understand the needs and requirements of particular region
  • No investment blues: As the franchisee will be responsible for the investment so franchisors would be free from this headache.
  • Young consumers: Retailers can capitalise on young buyers’ craze and need for new and fresh brands

Things to consider

Undoubtedly, these locations have immense profit potential for certain brands that cater to this particular class of the population. But a franchisor must know what a franchising business requires in such specific locations to hasten the speed of its growth and concurrently assure its success. Besides this, when it comes to opening up a franchised outlet, a franchisor has to provide certain guidelines to his franchisees regarding the ambience, merchandise, products and services that are to be offered at such locations. These guidelines include certain factors that must be taken into consideration to raise the chances of success, which are:

  • Ambience: It is the most important part of an outlet that brings the customers in and ensures repeated footfalls. When you are opening an outlet to target the young generation of the nation, you have to be at par with the latest trends and bit funkier to allure them to your outlets. As Chabbra says, “The interiors of the franchised outlet have to be a bit funky with a young staff. For us, the franchise model remains the same, but the difference comes in the ambience and the merchandise.” 
  • Merchandise: While selecting the merchandise for your outlet, keep in mind the needs and wants of your young consumers. “When deciding on the merchandise, we do see to it as we need to be more focused on the needs of the college and school going customers. We have a product range between Rs 5000 to Rs 10, 000 also, that will not go or go in a very limited range in such spaces. Secondly, we have a product range in the home category that also will not do very well in these locations,” says Chabbra. What will do well in these locations include funky things, youth oriented merchandise, wrist watches, wallets, fashion jewellery. Merchandise mix is a best option for the retailers eyeing on such spaces to cater to the demands of the youth.
  • Products and Services: The products and services to be offered at such franchised outlets need to be affordable, customer friendly and must provide special offerings. Brands like KFC are coming up with a new menu called 'Street wise' to project itself as a more youthful brand and to tap the India's college going crowd by offering products at a more affordable price range. 

For brands like Archies, schools and colleges were always a focused location to open new outlets and expansion through franchising in such location is always in the agenda from day one. In short, it is a positive location or a profitable one to open franchised outlets near school, colleges or universities.

Related: Heading towards franchise success

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