Retail Dec, 21 2011

Festive Displays: Who's in charge?

Christmas cheer is round the corner and retailers are gearing up to have attractive festive displays to cash in on the occasion. But who takes care of displays in a franchise set up is a question to ponder on.

By Neha Malhotra
Sub Editor, Franchise India Holdings Limited, Web Division
Festive Displays: Who's in charge?

Festive time is a time for merriment for retailers and franchisees too as they can deck up their stores and rake in more riches to go up on the profit meter. Festive displays do play a role in bringing in the customer to the store by the means of alluring displays. From Santa Claus to Christmas trees, red or green leaves, there is a lot that can be done for Christmas displays. But in a franchise set up, how does a franchisee go about the Visual Merchandising for his store? Does he do it at his own level or is it taken care of at the franchisor’s end? Well this decision lies entirely with the franchisor.

Franchisor: The task manager

Those who prefer to maintain symmetry for their stores across the length and breadth of the country, opt for all Visual Merchandising activities at the franchisor level while those who believe in acting according to the local markets choose to let the franchisee do the needful. Bossini believes in conveying a consistent brand image, therefore franchisees receive support from headquarters on store design and visual merchandise at all times. Ferns N Petals also believes in the same theory for its festive display for all occasions. Pawan Gadia, Vice President, Ferns N Petals, “Festive displays are done by franchisor in terms of suggesting ideas as to this is how the store has to look like, which includes the local and new products at the store and the overall season in mind. We have a third party who designs for us which we get it implemented all across the country. For this Christmas occasion, we have already shortlisted a concept and its implementation is on across our stores.”

The benefit of opting for a centralised VM activity are uniformity in Visual Merchandising, reduction of the headache for a franchisee to run around looking for ideas and vendors, franchisors are better judge of the exact time, method and procedure for carrying of effective displays and of course it will be cost effective as the vendor will be the same for supplies across the stores.

Franchisee’s endeavour

For some brands, festive displays are taken care of at the franchisees level only. These display are done according to the local flavour rather than having a nationwide symmetry for festive displays. Here the franchisees either do the festive display themselves or hire freelance visual merchandisers to do the job for them. In such a set up, there can be a lot of hurdles as well. The franchisee may not be willing to put in extra bucks for festive displays and in certain situations and businesses where the location doesn’t demand so can lead franchisees to deter from making the expenditure. Franchisees may also9 not be interested to go ahead with this plan because getting an approval from the franchisor on concepts can be cumbersome as at times two people may have a different outlook for carrying out the activity.

Whoever does the display, the purpose that is served is the same: Attracting clientele to the store. Its work is to get people inside the store. The VM will attract people to the store but the merchandise should also be attractive enough to convert the walk in into sales. Also having attractive Christmas offers and deals will help the profit quotient in rising. Viren Ghole, G.M.-Marketing & Ecommerce, Monginis says, “With Christmas just round the corner, Monginis has launched an amazing new Christmas collection. Monginis brings to you a collection of Christmas special cakes that resemble all the wonderful things that Christmas has made up of.” The Body Shop has come up with a special Christmas Collection as well as Gift sets and is offering a discount of 15 per cent on them to encourage buy outs.

So, go out to malls and shopping streets and enjoy the Christmas flavour of displays and pick something up as a present from Santa!!

Related: Boot route to franchise success

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