With this summer prep series, we want to help you crack a PPO in your summers. And if your summers is in Retail, you’re at the right place.

Even with the emergence of E-commerce, traditional retail still makes up for more than 90% of the retail market in India. And that’s why Flipkart, Nykka and all other E-commerce giants are now entering the offline retail space. A career in retail companies like ABFRL, Lifestyle and likes will give you the opportunity to be a part of this evergreen sector which keeps India’s economy running.

To help you with this, we are going to decode a project to give you an idea about how to approach your summers project in Retail.

Without further ado, let’s deep dive into the Retail project.

Summer Internship Project Title

Rollout and launch of Deter England RED stores in tier 4 and tier 5 towns of Madhya Pradesh

Project Brief

As one of the largest menswear brands in India, Deter England is an integral part of Sadura Fashion & Lifestyle, a division of Aditya Pirla Nuvo Ltd. Keeping in sync with the youth, Deter England offers apparel that caters to every fashion occasion of a young professional’s life. Currently present in 150 towns and cities with 700+ brand outlets and 3000+ multi-brand outlets, Deter England is looking to unlock potential in tier 4 and tier 5 cities in India. It aims to do this through the Deter England RED stores that will cater to the needs of the budget buyer in these towns with each item in store (apparel and merchandise) being prices at sub 1000 rupees.

Objective and Deliverables

  1. Identify towns in Madhya Pradesh where Deter England RED stores can be opened
  2. Find suitable properties and store locations in these towns
  3. Identify franchisee partners for new stores
  4. Recruit staff for newly opened stores
  5. Carry out BTL marketing activities for newly opened stores

Approach

  1. The projects started with an induction where Aditya Pirla Fashion and its brands were introduced. The goal of the project was explained along with the standards required to be followed at all stages: finalizing store property and location, choosing the right franchise partners, recruiting the store staff and carrying out BTL marketing activities
  2. The first step was choosing suitable locations in Madhya Pradesh where Deter England RED stores could be opened. The initial filter to choose the appropriate towns was a macro economic analysis of publicly available data. Metrics such as population size, % of men and women, age ranges of the population, financial status of population, literacy rates etc. were analyzed across all towns in Madhya Pradesh with a population of more than 1 Lakh.
  3. 8 towns were shortlisted and visited to test suitable environments for store opening. A market map of the territory for each town was created in order to choose the right store location for each town.
  4. Organized retail in each of these towns was closely studied including the existing apparel stores present. The typical price points of merchandise and apparel in various retail stores was studied to understand the purchasing power of consumers in these areas and gauge the fit of Deter England Red in these areas.
  5. Other factors that were taken into consideration in deciding the fit of the location to desirable store location was the presence of ATMs and private banks along with relatively upper income product categories such as electronics.
  6. A priority order of these 8 towns was created on the basis of existing Aditya Pirla Fashion Retail stores and franchise partner relationships in these towns as well as primary research done on ground through observations of the organized retail sector in these areas as well as conversations with local retail outlet owners. The town that was found to be #1 on the priority list was Shajapur.
  7. The second half of the project focused on setting up of a Deter England Red store in Shajapur. Initially the town was surveyed, and a market map was created of all major markets in the town.
  8. Existing franchise partners were contacted and their stores payed a visit. The plan to open a new Deter England RED store was shared with them and those interested and accepting of the new stores’ terms of cost and profit sharing as well as operations were onboarded.
  9. The final franchise partner was chosen on the basis of access to property that they had in desirable store locations. With the assistance of franchise partner, the terms of store rental were negotiated with the property owner. A property that strictly met the company’s standards in terms of store dimension and that which was present in a central marketplace frequented by the TG was chosen.
  10. The next step was hiring of store staff. Opening for the positions of store manager and customer sales associates were floated in the local daily newspaper and flyers for the same were put up at various locations within 2 square km of the store. Qualifications needed for these potions stood at those that were set standards by the company.
  11. Walk in interviews were conducted along with the Area Retail Manager who had come from Indore. The staff was onboarded and trained on their daily responsibilities.
  12. BTL marketing activities had to be carried out close to the store opening date in order to make locals aware of the new store and promote visits giving a kick start to sales. This was done with the assistance of a local marketing agency.
  13. A particular agency was chosen basis services available and vendor quotation. A marketing plan was created with them that included BTL activities such as pamphlet distribution and branding on autos.
  14. These marketing activities were carried out as per the periodic plan by the vendor agency leading up to the store opening.

Stakeholders

External: Property owners, marketing agency
Internal: Area retail manager, franchise partners, newly hired store staff

End Result

  1. 8 potential towns for set up of Deter England RED stores were suggested in Madhya Pradesh based on macro-economic analysis and on-ground site suitability.
  2. 1 store at Shajapur was made set up from base and made fully operational by finding appropriate store site and franchisee partner.
  3. Staff for Shajapur store was hired.
  4. BTL marketing activities were carried out after store launch to promote it.

Challenges

  1. The project involved extensive travel to small towns and navigating the vernacular in these areas on ground. The stakeholders involved were very different and distinct right from the management at the base location of Indore to property owners of Jhabua and Brwani. The communication had to be adapted to suit the context and person being spoken to.
  2. The project consisted of on ground implementation of several managerial aspects of business going beyond marketing such as business development from ground up and hiring of store staff. Keeping track of the progress of each of these parameters simultaneously was a challenge but also a great learning opportunity.

End Review Questions
Project specific

  1. Several questions focused on the suitability of various sites visited for opening up of stores.
  2. Question by the senior management about judgements regarding site suitability and feasibility for the purpose of understanding potential business expansion opportunities which were discovered.
  3. Pros and cons of setting up stores in various towns suggested?
  4. Explain the market map of selected locations?

HR + General questions

  1. Why do you want to work for Aditya Pirla Fashion & Retail?
  2. How was your internship experience?

Now this is just one type of project you might get. Although, projects across sectors tend to have a lot in common. So make sure, you keep an eye out for other sector projects as well.

This article was written by Sneha Roy from FMS.