Voonik, the online market place for women's fashion has launched a new retail format known as the mini channels. As per Hari Prasadh, Senior Vice President these are neither pop-up stores nor micro pop-up stores. They are micro store format shops that are very strategically located at our customer catchment areas and serve as neighborhood-friendly format stores for our customers. These mini channels aspire to meet the demands of everyday women by offering affordable ethnic wear. They offer only one product category for one gender, and we have decided to offer a wide range of kurti collections for women at these mini channel stores.
Accessible, affordable and convenient stores
Bengaluru being its core market, Voonik decided to launch these stores first in the city. The stores are accessible, affordable and convenient. They meet the demand of many customers who want to touch-and-feel-the products Prasadh points out. Presently, these stores function in four locations across Bengaluru: Frazer Town, Jayanagar, Mathikere and Gopalan Innovation Mall- the fifth will be launched soon. These stores were opened by leveraging data of existing customers. The company used the customer data and ticket size to identify where the stores should be set up and what collections should go at these stores, and accordingly the mini channel stores were launched. Prasadh says their target customers for these stores are anybody looking for everyday fashion. However, it’s mainly for college students and women in the age group between 25 and 40.
The retailer, in the first phase has identified the locations and customers to launch these stores. The aims is to intertwine the online-offline experience and go beyond just the omni-experience. They are looking to make these stores accessible and convenient.
He points out they want the stores to represent style rather than depth. Also, the collections vary from store to store as per customer expectations. Voonik has collected key data and buyer feedbacks in order to understand what should be displayed at these stores.
Prasadh says they are looking to increase the volume of their stores and plan to launch at least 25 stores in next Q3-Q4. However, the biggest limitation of offline stores is that the brand can’t scale as quickly as online. Hence, they want to crack an efficient model in Bengaluru. Soon after, they will follow customers in other cities like Hyderabad, Maharashtra and Lucknow, and spread pan-India with the mini channel stores.
As for future plans, Prasadh says, they don’t want to intimidate customers with larger format stores and instead would focus on meeting customer demands. To do that, they will operate multi-category formats. The immediate target is to make stores profitable, although some of these stores have achieved the break even target, they do not have any financial targets as such.