Insights into the Indian retail industry
By Kyra Molinari (exclusively for EuroShop.mag)
Unique retail shop designs invite you on a journey through the store. Despite the challenges of rapidly changing consumer preferences, designers must never lose sight of branding. Satvinder Singh, Managing Director at Satin Neo Dimensions, told us how the work of a design specialist in India has changed and what role technology and sustainability play in this setting.
Satvinder, what are the latest retail design trends?
Satvinder Singh: The phygital (editor’s note: a fusion of the words physical + digital) integration in retail stores is no longer a vision of the future, but a burgeoning trend that is being embraced by brands such as Adidas, Nike, and Levis. Thanks to multimedia, brands keep customers in their stores longer as digital interactions create an experience that is more powerful and informative.
How does the Indian retail sector differ from other markets?
The size of India’s consumer market in terms of its wide geographic spread, political composition, and consumer behavior makes it truly unique. There are distinct differences between Tier-1, Tier-2, and Tier-3 cities in India (Editor’s note: cities in India are subject to a population-based classification). It means that brands that are trying to gain a foothold in the Indian market must not only pursue a global marketing strategy but must also address the different segments of consumers they plan to target. Besides adapting their products or messages to reflect the local realities, companies should also pursue a separate branding and communication strategy that resonates with the respective regions to become a successful brand in multifaceted India.
How has your work as a design specialist changed in recent years – also as a result of external circumstances and increased digitization?
At Satin, our unwavering focus and faith in the fast-growing Indian market has prompted us to build a large and efficient production facility that covers the vast geopolitical space of India. We began our journey with a vision and the goal of making quality products for the entire industry. As we grew, design and technology were of the utmost importance, which recently also encouraged us to make strategic investments in design and retail startups. Our organization continues to grow, making Satin a multi-brand company that offers a multitude of products and services in manufacturing, design, technology, and finance all under one roof.
How important is sustainability in store design and what is its impact?
The world and all industry sectors understand the importance of sustainability. In its early stages, sustainable retail design has huge cost implications because further research is needed as it pertains to the applicable raw materials and implementation processes. The industry has started to tackle the issue, and we expect this to become a larger movement, even if it will take a while before top international brands set a precedent. Adidas has already taken the lead in this setting with its new store that has achieved LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
When should retailers consider a new design?
Consumer preferences and tastes are changing fast. Keeping up with customer demands is harder than ever and puts pressure on retailers. This creates a dynamic that forces brands to constantly reinvent their business and use the physical space – their retail stores – to retell their story in a new way. Ideally, a full store renovation should now take place every three to four years.
How important are branding and brand recognition when a retail store is being remodeled – also as it pertains to customers? Do brands have to keep reinventing themselves?
When you redesign a store, the main idea is to refresh and modernize your look without compromising your branding. Branding builds the foundation of your brand story, boosts brand awareness and recognition and gets people talking about your brand – all this is supported by the range of products, offered services, the design language and the store’s equipment and features. In today’s increasingly fast-paced and ever-changing consumer environment, branding becomes a top priority and must be effortlessly and skillfully embedded into any brand’s store redesign. This balanced strategy ensures brands always keep ahead of their competition.
You recently joined In-store Asia as a presenting sponsor. Why is this trade fair so important and special to you?
We have enjoyed a successful collaboration with In-store Asia for years and know it is one of the largest and most popular platforms for retail resources in the Indian subcontinent. This year’s partnership as a presenting sponsor provides Satin the perfect opportunity to gain more knowledge, insight, and experience as we continue to expand our business in both the domestic and global markets.