When luxury brands open more than one store in the same city, I always wonder why they do that. About seven years ago, when there was this feeling that for high end brands Indian market may become like China, but soon that feeling was replaced with a more convincing feeling that it’s a growing market, but a slow growing one at that.
This is the reason why it always surprised me when these brands choose to open more than one store in the same city even as the rentals in India are horribly high.
But what the Italian luxury brand Gucci did this time was somewhat different. When it opened its store at the Oberoi Gurgaon hotel, it decided to position it differently and called it a ‘concept store.’ This sounded nice and different. The two-level store is impressive with its glass and mirror panels from outside and it beats rest of the brands in its location as well… while the rest are nestled somewhat behind in the corridor, Gucci is bang at the entrance to the retail section itself. Once inside, the store offers custom-made handbags (in fact, its designer Frida Gianini made five limited edition clutches to celebrated the launch of this store), made-to-measure suits for men, special merchandise that one won’t find anywhere else, etc make it a store that people from even far away would want to visit. And this is something that I see as the USP of this store as Gucci has two more stores not too far from this one… one at The Oberoi, New Delhi and the other at The Emporio Mall.
What Gucci did perhaps should be followed by other brands as well. There really is no point in opening a second or third store that looks and stocks exactly the same things. What’s going to keep the customers coming will be how differently the store is positioned. After all, why would I want to travel all the way if I can get the same stuff at a store near to me? I think this is where the new Gucci store is going to score.