With a mission to make aspirations affordable for the full family, Easybuy has successfully met the fashion needs of Neo-India. The fastest growing value retailer is poised to cross the milestone of fastest 100 stores by 2020.
Quality fashion at great value never disappoints, and if delivered consistently, it often wins big. In 2014, when the Landmark Group launched its first pilot store at Karim Nagar, as part of its value retail arm Easybuy, with a simple strategy - aspirational fashion, great prices, and high quality - it hit the right chord with the value conscious Indian market, the Neo-India. Landmark Group, Dubai, which operates 2400 stores in 22 countries having retail formats like Lifestyle, Max, SPAR, Home centre, etc launched Easybuy, a value fashion format crafted specifically for Neo-India. Easybuy, within four years of full operational roll out in 2015, is looking at reaching a new milestone of fastest 100 stores by a value fashion retailer in the country.
Speaking about the fashion demands of aspirational customers, Anand Aiyer, Senior VP and Business Head, Easybuy, says, “Our vision is to make aspirations affordable for Neo-India, which aspires to access great fashion given the exposure to international trends, trends from movies and OTT platforms, but their expectation is that their favorite fashion has to come at prices they would love as well. And, this is exactly what Easybuy provides- super styles at super prices.”
FMCG MODEL IN FASHION RETAIL
Easybuy works on a unique ‘FMCG model of retail’ with clear focus on faster rotations and volumes with cost being optimized at every level. While Easybuy works on lower margins, the bottom line is driven with volume. It has also adapted a lean cost structure and minimizes cost across value chain. The FMCG scale in fashion retail has helped Easybuy and the franchise partners to gain big through large volumes that every store does month-on-month. Suggesting what differentiates Easybuy with its competitors in this segment, Aiyer, says, “While pricing 25% lower than other players in this segment is the biggest strength, the other differentiator is value-added products. Our ‘One Up Basics,’ delivering value-added ‘in-style’ products at 25% lower than competition is a clear differentiator and a winner for Easybuy.”
Easybuy is the only national and a mono-brand family format offering entire family fashion- men’s, women’s and kids, all within 5000 sqft of retail space and launching new designs every two months, thus delivering better productivity and better ROI to franchise partners.
ONE-OF-ITS KIND JOURNEY
While Easybuy delivers great value, in order to achieve quality and delightful pricing, it has built a robust supply chain that delivers great value to shoppers from its ‘first-of-the-kind’ MSME ecosystem. The value retailer has built a full-fledged ecosystem ‘from machine to mannequin’ through identifying MSMEs, nurturing them to become exclusive partners for Easybuy.
“We have introduced “Easybuy GPQ Initiative” (guidelines to production & quality) through which we hand-hold the MSMEs to achieve best-in-class manufacturing with assured utilization of capacity by Easybuy. We also train them on productivity techniques, help setting up the factory and establish quality standards to be future-ready,” Aiyer says.
GREAT POTENTIAL, BIG MONEY
Neo-India, which comprises of customers who are aspirational and yet value conscious, presents a huge potential as they are present across geographies, Neo- Metro areas and emerging towns. This segment has played a key role in the success of Easybuy and the brand has sharply focused in launching stores across these geographies. Aiyer, says, “Customers of Neo- India are as aspirational, but with clear expectation of right prices and Easybuy addresses this need. With over 80% of stores located in Neo-India geographies, we have 40% contribution coming from men, 30% from women and 25% from kids segment, while the rest is from accessories, footwear etc. We see great contribution coming from these markets and we aim to open in every district headquarters of the country, which are 700+ currently.”
ROBUST FRANCHISE MODEL
Amid other business strategies adopted by the brand, Easybuy has keenly emphasized on a robust franchising model for faster expansion. Easybuy has adopted a unique ‘operational franchisee model,’ where company and franchise partners work together starting from site selection to capex to retail operations. Speaking about the model, Aiyer, says, “Franchising enables us not only to expand faster, but also leverage our partner’s local knowledge to reach out to the potential customers in local catchments. Also, franchising model helps us get the right locations at right cost, which is critical to deliver profitability.”
The investment to open an Easybuy store is around Rs 80 lakh - Rs 1 crore. The store manager will be on the rolls of the company and the brand provides full-fledged training to the store staff appointed by the franchisee. In addition, franchisees get to earn very attractive ROI given the high productivity per sq. feet at every store. “Most franchisees now have more than 2 to 3 stores as they have not only realized the returns, but also aim to grow bigger with us. This is a clear indicator of how successful our model is and how we are able to deliver meaningful business results and profitability to our partners. We are well on track with our mission to open 200+ stores by 2022,” Aiyer says.