Megamart began as a liquidation outlet for a variety of apparel brands belonging to the Arvind Group (Turnover Rs. 40 billion), one of India’s largest textile and apparel manufacturers and exporters.
Over the years, Megamart attempted to up its game and become a discount retailer. In pursuit of this, it opened many outlets, but there was no consistency in the size, the stock, the shopping experience or even in internal design.
At the same time, the market was evolving, with younger Indian consumers becoming increasingly fashion conscious. New store brands as well as international names entered the market and began to make brands like Megamart look increasingly dated.
Megamart had to change – or disappear. Its profile needed to improve and its revenues increase. To become more competitive, Megamart took a conscious decision to upgrade itself and become a value fashion retailer selling current fashion at affordable prices.
Megamart had many struggles ahead.
A continued perception that it had ‘old’ fashions and cheap clothes. It remained the store to go to when men wanted cheap office wear i.e. clothes like white/blue shorts and dark trousers.
Its audience was aging along with the store (and its offering). No one young and hip would ever venture into a Megamart to buy anything but functional clothing – and even these people felt that alternate stores were better.
There was huge confusion in the kind and quality of outlets. Of the 200 outlets in 95 cities, many were run down and had a very slow cycle of restocking. This led to varied store experiences and more consumer angst.
Lastly, women had nothing to buy at Megamart for themselves and children’s clothing was unrepresented.
Unless we break dramatically with the past, we will be doomed.
The solution was in four parts:
1. A complete revamp of the offering, bringing in several international brands, like Geoffrey Beene as well as new collections in line with fashion industry norms (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter). New collections for women were also launched.
2. A rationalisation of stores, shutting down the unprofitable/impossible to upgrade stores as well as creating a new format that was more suited to high streets and malls.
3. A complete rebranding and change of identity – making the brand come across as younger, more vibrant and more of a fashion outlet.
4. A total and discontinuous change in communication. The tone of voice, the look and the feel became younger and more sophisticated. This was followed by advertising that highlighted the international brands and current fashion that could be got at Megamart.
For the first time ever, Megamart advertised without an offer or highlighting discounts. This was also the first time Megamart used black & white imagery.
The first stage in the change, was an outdoor campaign (below) that highlighted all the changes that Megamart was undergoing.
The second stage was advertising the international and private brands avaialable at Megamart in line with industry seasons.
Autumn Winter – 2013
While there was an initial dip in walk-ins by 15% – mainly because customers were used to continuous offers at Megamart – recovery happened very quickly. Within two months, walk-ins were 20% over the pre-change period and like-to-like sales increased by 25%, despite a sluggish, inflationary economy. What’s more Megamart won the “Most Admired Value Fashion Retailer” Award. The most recent campaign – for the Linen Collection – resulted in a sell out and a year on year growth of 22%.