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American casual fashion brand GAP is eyeing the shop-in-shop format in addition to exclusive outlets to strengthen its presence in India. Parag Dani, Business Head, GAP India for Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd., the master franchisee of this apparel brand, shares his perspective of trends and the way forward. By Payal Gulati
GAP has introduced the shop-in-shop (SIS) format in India for the first time ever. Why SIS and why now?
We had witnessed a healthy rise in online sales from smaller cities with almost half of all online sales being generated from such markets. Hence, we decided to launch the SIS format to grow in Tier II cities. The newer SIS is of three formats which will offer GAP products either for the whole family or for adults or only for kids. We have partnered with multi-brand retailers like Kapsons, Iconic India and All That Jazz.
With intense competition in the space from the likes of Zara and H&M, what’s your strategy to win the game?
The size of the Indian market is so huge that there is scope for multiple brands to operate. And unlike several other brands, GAP has products catering for a new born Gulatitill an adult which very few brands offer.
GAP is now exploring the small format stores. Could you elaborate?
We are doing two pilots on smaller-sized GAP adult stores and kids’ stores in the country. We have set up two ‘adult only’ stores, one each in Bengaluru and Kolkata. The GAP kids’ exclusive store will come up this year. While the average GAP store is between 5,000-6,000 sq. feet, stocking the entire range, the adult only store is between 3,000-3,500 sq. feet and the kids’ exclusive store will be 1,500-2,000 sq. feet.
What’s your omnichannel strategy?
We use the ‘one-consumer-one-journey’ concept with an omnichannel presence that allows seamless and multiple shopping options. The same omnichannel platform might be extended to e-tailers like Amazon.
GAP currently has 13 standalone stores in the National Capital Region, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai and Indore, apart from 15 SIS in multi-brand retailers in Tier II and III cities. Around 38% of GAP sales in India is from the men’s range, 34% from the baby and kids range, and the rest 28% from the women’s range. We plan to open 3-4 new standalone and 10 additional shop-in-shop stores this year in India. Our goal is to cross the Rs 1,000 crore revenue mark soon.