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2010-06-25

A fragrant opportunity

Perfume holds a special place in the Indian fashion. It provides an equally lucrative business opportunity.

One avenue that has been the least explored when it comes to fashion is fragrance. On the demand side perfumes have been used and admired since time immemorial. But on the supply side the consumers’ only option is the regular gift or cosmetic shops where the scent is reduced to a section. There are hardly any exclusive perfume shops that one will come across.

 

With the disposable income of people on the rise and the consciousness about style statement increasing perfumes are finding a whole new popularity amongst the youth, middle aged and also the elderly; gender causes no bar. It combines both, the aura of eliteness as well as the necessity of the middle class.

 

The time is right to leverage the opportunity. A perfume shop can be your way of entrance into the entrepreneurial world.

 

Market Potential

 

The fragrance industry in the country is said to be one of the most promising sectors. It is said to be growing at the rate of 125 per cent with the market size of Rs 300 crore. One can definitely own a share of this large market by having a perfume shop. If you are a person who likes to move beyond the figures, you can judge the market yourself just by counting the number of hand bags that hold a bottle of perfume or deodorant.

 

The Shop

 

According to Mr Anil Sharma, director at French perfume Co, one of the leading companies in the fragrance market, “Fragrance carries positive energy. And it is this positive energy that makes things happen.” A perfume shop ought to have this positivity.

 

The French Perfume Co which is a leading exporter and importer of fragrance in the country retails its 36 different variants of fragrance through company owned kiosks named after the company itself.

 

The décor of a perfume shop should suit the product. Sophistication is an essential part of a perfume shop and the French Perfume Co takes care of it really well. The fancy bottles of perfume are neatly arranged on the shelves of the store for the convenience of the customers. They also look attractive.

 

You can also offer decorative boxes and bags to keep the bottles. Perfumes form an important gift item and so accessories like these might compliment the service that you have put on offer.

 

Start a franchisee

 

Starting a perfume shop might not be very difficult but the marketing part can be a little expensive. Taking a franchisee is always a good option if you want to explore the fragrant path. That can simplify the entire process from supplying training, promotional materials, training, development assistance and operations manual, as well as helping to negotiate for a space, hire employees, and providing ongoing support and training.

 

Scout a location

 

Whether you are planning to retail your own brand or you want to be in an area where people are already looking to spend some disposable income, like a shopping mall. Perfume is usually bought in conjunction with clothing or other gifts, so an area like this would be perfect.

 

The French Perfume Co has kiosks at various locations starting from supermarkets to five-star hotels to parlours having multi-brand counters.

 

TO START SMALL

 

Mr Sharma says, “Being in the perfume business is an expensive affair. The investor should have some money at his disposal. Perseverance and patience are equally important.”

 

Cut down on the real estate cost

 

One of the reasons why selling perfume becomes expensive is to maintain an outlet in the posh malls and being in the niche market.  If the cost of retailing is cut down a bit it can give the retailer an added advantage. There are two ways one can do this:

 

  • Kiosk: A kiosk can be operated from a very small area and will also require less of maintenance. The number of staff members needed to run a store will also be reduced. Other infrastructure costs can also be minimised. A kiosk will also not be a hindrance in the proper display of perfume bottles. Customers can help themselves with just one or two staff to assist them.

 

  • Sell online: The most popular channel of retailing today is the online platform. Be it shoes or apparels, people are buying variety of items though the platform. And perfume is no exception. All you need to have is a portal that customers will find it easy to use and worthy enough to trust. You can sell either your own brand of products or have a range of various other brands put up on sale. Your initial investment will be reduced to almost half.

 

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