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Shopper's Stop: Start Something New

Shoppers’ Stop is a chain of retail stores in India owned by K. Raheja Corp. It was established in 1991 and is presently spread across the nation. Shoppers’ Stop is considered as one stop multi-brand retail outlet providing leading international and national brands in clothing for men, women and kids, accessories, cosmetics, footwear and home furnishing. Two years back in April Shoppers’ Stop changed its logo and adopted a new logo with a punchy tag line “Start Something New”.

Presently there are 27 stores in 12 cities. Shoppers’ Stop has been awarded the prestigious “Hall of Fame” and won the “Emerging Market Retailer” of the year award by World Retail Congress in 2008. Shoppers’ Stop in early 90’s wanted to establish their brand as a family departmental store but now it has diversified into speciality bussiness like Crossword Bookstores, Desi Café, Brio, Mothercare and M.A.C. Cosmetic Stores.

First Citizen Programme

At Shoppers’ Stop priority is given to customer convenience with customer friendly signage, alteration desk, customer service desk with gift wrapping service and off course most importantly the exclusive First Citizen Members’ lounge to name a few. First Citizen is one of the very significant loyalty programs of Shoppers’ Stop. First Citizen program has 1.5 million active members across India. With this program customers become part of the First Citizen club where they have to submit an application form along with the application fee of Rs. 150. Membership to regular customers is provided in three stages – Classic Moments, Silver Age and Golden Glow. The core customer for First Citizen program fall under the age group of 16 to 40 years.

Benefits come hand in hand with First Citizen program:

  • Customers gain reward points each time they shop at Shoppers’ Stop stores or shoppersstop.com
  • Exclusive benefits & privileges
  • Exclusive offers on purchase
  • Updates on various products at Shoppers’ Stop
  • Exclusive cash counters which help customers to spend more time shopping than waiting in a queue

First Citizen Program contributes nearly over 50% of Shoppers’ Stop sales annually. The rapidly growing First Citizen Program clearly proves the fact that Shoppers’ Stop has been able to successfully connect with their customers through their service and special promotional offers which has converted many of them into loyal customers.

Customer Loyalty Initiatives

It is no longer enough to satisfy customers. You must delight them” – Philip Kotler

In this fast growing and competitive retail market of India, brand positioning depends a lot on customer loyalty. And Customer loyalty is the result of well-managed customer retention program.

50% of the Shoppers’ Stop’s sales are drawn from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) initiatives. It is considered that Shoppers’ Stop has taken CRM to a new extent and now it’s loyalty programs are considered as Customer Experience Management.

Other than their key loyalty program – First Citizen Program, they also offer a co-branded credit card with Citibank for their members. Shoppers’ Stop also introduced a loyalty program SKIDS specially for children of First Citizen club members.  
                                                       
Use of Technology

The ardent need of new technologies can be understood no better than Shoppers’ Stop. Shoppers’ Stop is one of those first few retail chains which introduced the use of scanners and barcodes and also encouraged the use of fully computerized operations. It is also one of those very few retail chains to have ERP (Enterprise Retail Planning), which is considered one of the best retail planning system in the world. ERP helps in quick decision making process. With this Shoppers’ Stop can open new stores faster and can get necessary information about merchandise and customers online.

Shoppers’ Stop uses a mix of technologies and systems like JDA suite for retail business and SharePoint portal for their internal and external collaboration. It also uses Microsoft Exchange and Communication Server for messaging. Technologies like Oracle Financials is used for financial accounting, NetApps' SAN and NAS technologies for storage consolidation and virtualization, Business Objects for reporting, blade servers and multi-core servers with VM Ware for application deployment, and Wi-Fi networks in offices.  For stores and distribution centers they use operational activities with Symbol wireless scanners.

Shoppers’ Stop replaced its legacy system in 1998 and selected JDA. JDA solutions ensured consistency and uniformity of fixtures across all its stores thus enhancing the efficiently and helping the chain grow profitably as well as ensuring the company’s success — particularly that of its new hypermarket business. JDA solutions have helped Shoppers’ Stop in many ways:

  • Optimizing floor space and visualizing the layout prior to construction
  • Inventory planning improvement through planned and systematic forecasting
  • Provide a high magnitude of analysis and reporting
  • Efficiently manage high inventory turns and volumes
  • Improve the management of metrics, including service and inventory levels

Shoppers’ Stop also insists on the use of PeopleSoft HRMS, business intelligence solutions, e-learning solutions, customer feedback systems and mobile point-of-sale systems.

Shoppers’ Stop and Other Retail Chains

Shoppers’ Stop is considered as a multi brand retail outlet because of its variety of products meant for the entire family. The vast and diverse range of products available in Shoppers’ Stop is rare to find in any of the retail chains of India. Again under this vast range they offer different categories and style which caters to the need of customers from various economic slabs.

Shoppers’ Stop has converted the concept of retail into an experience, an indulgence. To gain an insight into the international practice of customer service and new retail concepts, Shoppers’ Stop became the member of Inter Continental Group of Departmental Stores (IGDS) becoming the only Indian member among the 29 other celebrated retailers of the world.

In India Shoppers’ Stop acted as a launch pad for non-apparel brands like Walt Disney, Tencel, Clarins and Elizabeth Arden.

Shoppers’ Stop is considered to be a pioneer in departmental one stop shop concept and has brought retail revolution in India so it understands the customer psyche better than many of its competitors.

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