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COVID-19 impact | Blackberrys to align physical stores with digital capabilities

"The customer is now well-versed with the trends and believes in detailed research before making a purchase," said Nitin Mohan, founder and Director of Blackberrys.

May 29, 2020 / 08:17 PM IST

Premium menswear brand Blackberrys is gearing up to restart its business after the COVID-19-led disruption.

The clothing segment is in the midst of a hyperspeed evolution and rapidly shifting to e-commerce channels.

"Going digital is the way to go for providing services to Indian consumers," said Nitin Mohan, founder and Director of Blackberrys.

Since 1991, Blackberrys has been a curator of fine clothing and wardrobe essentials. Present in over 350 cities in India, Blackberry currently operates in more than 280 exclusive brand outlets and 800-plus multi-brand outlets.

In a freewheeling chat with Moneycontrol, Mohan said the customer is now well-versed with the trends and believes in detailed research before making a purchase.

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"We have always believed in leveraging our digital platforms to interact with our patrons, to promote our products and win customer confidence.  With the use of digital mediums, we get an opportunity to reach out to the customers and introduce them to the benefits of our products. By using technology, we are also trying to render convenience to our customers by aligning physical stores with digital capabilities," he said.

Witnessing an increase in digital content consumption in the recent times, Mohan believes various social media platforms, and OTT apps will be an ideal mode to reach the audience in different parts of the country.

"We keep our customers informed about our innovations, collections and offerings through all our digital handles and will continue to do so in the coming future. We also plan to introduce our look-books and offers based on personal preferences through digital channels," he added.

Vocal for Local mantra

After 'Make in India', 'Vocal for Local' is another initiative aimed at uplifting national brands.

In the light of PM Modi’s recent announcement emphasizing on ‘Vocal for Local’ retail brands are revisiting their marketing strategies to implement 'Vocal for Local' mantra in their services.

"Vocal for Local is another big initiative to support national brands. This is an emotional call which will arouse a new wave of nationalism in us. This will also give us an opportunity to stand stronger as one India," Mohan said.

He agreed that the influx of international brands has brought in a lot of variety for the customers but he also foresees a positive revival of consumer sentiments with this statement.

"This step might also lead to the introduction of various industry initiatives which will be beneficial for all the domestic brands," Mohan said.

With this initiative, Mohan believes there will be high focus on  domestic manufacturing of goods,

The initiative will provide the right impetus to the brands to invest in innovative means to enhance home manufacturing of products instead of outsourcing them which will further make India the new manufacturing hub, Mohan said.

"The PM’s statement to support Indian brands is definitely intended to boost employment at various levels including designing, manufacturing and delivery of the products. This will further introduce a positive change in the outlook towards manufacturing and will encourage investments when coupled with policy reforms," said Mohan.

Competitive pricing

When asked on competitive pricing of products as compared to international markets , Mohan was of the view that brands in India tend to offer better product attributes, especially fabric quality as compared to international brands.

"Prices are likely to get sharper in the coming time and we also foresee that it will promote higher full price sell through," Mohan said.

Speaking on 'no discounts' policy at Blackberrys, Mohan said the company does not believe in discounting to get sales up.

"We believe in delivering products that are rightly priced to offer great value to the customers, irrespective of the markets we are selling in," said Mohan.

Considering the current situation, Blackberrys is realigning business strategies.

"We are training our team on technology, product and on redefining and simplifying the internal processes. We are also guiding them to identify and adapt to disruptive ways of working in the supply chain," Mohan said.

The company is also using this phase as an opportunity to chart out a new era- on what the brand could contribute to consumer’s lives and how the company can engage with them.

Blackberrys is also preparing new campaigns in the coming quarters.

Considering the enhanced hygiene factor due to COVID-19 outbreak, the company is undertaking stringent measures including regular sanitisation of store and store staff to ensure customer safety and has also revised employees and store policies to assure a safe and convenient shopping experience for customers.

"We are also offering dedicated appointment slots to our brand loyalists, encouraging trials of garments as our category falls under high engagement purchase though with high safety measures, including quarantining the tried garments for 7 days before putting them back on the shelves," said Mohan.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here
Himadri Buch
first published: May 29, 2020 08:14 pm

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