National Institute Of Retail Management
MARKS: 80 .
SUB: Retail Management.
N.B.: 1) Attempt any Four Questions
2 All questions carries equal marks.
CASE 1: BOBCAT
Bobcat India Limited revolutionized footwear selling in India. The company hit upon the idea of reaching customers through exclusive retail stores way back in 1932 and set up its own outlets, which numbered around 1,200. it was no mean task setting up such a large network of retail outlets, especially when 90% of them were owned and operated by the company, the rest being dealer-owned and operated. This chain store format identity has been a strong differentiating factor in the Indian retail sector, being the first of its kind. Combined with the high quality of the footwear, the brand soon had top-of-the-mind recall and stayed there for many years. Until a few years ago, the name ‘Bobcat’ Was synonymous with organized retailing in India, the only one of its kind.
The Chain Store Format
The Bobcat chain store format had its own credo ---a signature store-design with exclusive signage and windows in order to facilitate easy association in the minds of the Indian consumers. At present there are only two major categories of store in the Bobcat Chain Store format: a) Bobcat Family Stores
b) Bobcat Bazaar
a) Bobcat Family Stores
These are sub-divided into two formats again, based on the size of the stores. They are: I) Super Stores, generally more than 5,000 sq.ft. catering to customers in the footwear category. II) High-street stores that are anywhere between 500 and 1,500 sq.ft., found in busy shopping areas.
b) Bobcat Bazaar
Bobcat Bazaar stores sell the company’s planned economy product lines and market- down merchandise round the year. Known as R-pair stores, their performance depends heavily upon the availability of marked-down merchandise. Such markdowns are done on products that have suffered quality accidents, are shop-soiled, lines that are closed-out etc.
Recent Format Developments
New retail formats have begun to supersede conventional ones. Independent big-box multi-brand department stores have started selling footwear as a category, especially in metros and cities. Malls are another new shopping format that is growing rapidly in the metros. Many upcoming footwear retailers are obtaining space inside the malls as mall partners to take advantage of the ready footfalls available. For the existing independent Bobcat stores it is expensive now to run campaigns and promotions to attain the required footfalls and expected conversions.
Merchandising in Bobcat Family Stores
The exclusivity of the ‘Bobcat’ brand to the Bobcat retail stores was the differentiating factor for customers until recently. However, a few years ago the company decided to sell Bobcat branded goods through its channel sales wing called Bobcat Wholesale. Hitherto, the wholesale channel had a different brand for itself called BSC. This wholesale channel supplies merchandise to footwear retailers across India through its authorized distributors. The brand Bobcat has now been extended to this wholesale channel too, which means that Bobcat branded goods are available in every other local footwear store. The exclusivity of the brand to its own outlets has come to an end. And, even as the sales of the wholesale division remain stagnant, what compelling reasons can a customer have to visit a Bobcat Store now? A peculiar feature of the Bobcat store was its odd price points: Rs 149.95, 199.95, etc.
Merchandise Presentation and Visual Merchandising
Bobcat pioneered the concept of show window displays in India with a style that was unique to the company. It was professionally managed, with an exclusive team handling the motif and the design. Every month the direction to decorate the show windows were given by a mailer prepared by special decorators. Sales personnel in each...