#Culture: Forget Food Trucks, Fashion Trucks Are Bringing Your Favourite Brands To Your Doorstep As The Concept Of Shops On Wheels And Home Shopping Kicks Off In India.
Most of us have realised by now that going to the mall is a thing of the past, at least for this whole year. Even if the lockdown lifts completely, say in a month or two, I am definitely not putting my life at risk by touching the clothes that have been touched by all and trying out clothes in a store that have been tried by all. Although shopping malls in the non-containment zones are already up and running despite the increasing coronavirus cases, it is because of this fear that the retailers are closing the shutters of their stores at practically zero sales every day.
With stores deserted or shut with no certainty of when they will function like before, offline sales have dropped dramatically in the last four or five months. Online shopping is booming but the retailers are concerned about their offline sales which actually makes for the larger and more profitable business.
In the wake of this crisis, fashion brands and retailers have come up with brilliant ways out to boost their offline sales. While some are offering the home shopping experience, others are rolling out their sales in a truck. Let me explain.
Ever heard of food trucks? Of course, you have. What if some day one of these vehicles came at the corner of your street with the merchandise from your favourite clothing brand instead of food? Not talking about some futuristic, far-off fashion dream; this is already happening.
Fashion brands like Levi’s, Forever New, Puma and Reliance Brands are bringing their movable stores at a street corner near you via the shop-on-wheels concept. If you can’t go to the store, the store will come to you. Now, this new normal, I am digging.
— moneycontrol (@moneycontrolcom) July 22, 2020
Also Read: 5 Ways In Which Shopping Is Likely To Change After Coronavirus. Think Virtual Trial Rooms And The Like
Levi’s has already got their service “rolling” in Gurugram and Delhi and is looking at scaling it up to other cities as well. They are offering their work from home collection which includes light and comfortable denim pieces like shorts and tops in their shop-on-wheels. They are also letting customers go back home and try the clothes if they wish to. Before you have any doubts about the misfit and alterations, let me tell you that they are arranging that on-the-spot as well.
In an interview, Sanjeev Mohanty, the Managing Director of Levi’s Strauss & Co, South Asia, Middle East and North Africa said, “Our consumers can try out the garments at their homes and for alterations the team on the ground takes measurements and the final product, after being modified at the nearest store, is dropped back to the customer.”
If you are living the Delhi NCR area, don’t be surprised if you see a Levi’s truck moving around or being hovered over by a bunch of people, because according to Mohanty, “The response from consumers has exceeded all our expectations.”
— Stage3social (@stage3social) January 25, 2020
This is however not the first mobile fashion in India. Sometime in January this year, Stage3, a fashion rental start-up moved around their “Fashion On Wheels” bus giving the customer a chance to raid their walk-in closet and “touch, see and rent” their merchandise. That time, we didn’t know this was going to become the future of fashion in a matter of a few months.
Home Shopping Also?
However, Forever New, a women’s wear brand has taken a slightly different approach. Until now we had heard about online shopping and in-store shopping but this fashion brand is testing waters in a rather new category called home shopping. It means exactly what it sounds like. They are sending their staff to their customers’ homes with a product portfolio of the brand so they can pick what they like from the comfort of their homes. The staff also carries pieces for the customers to pick from right there and then.
Dhruv Bogra who is the country manager for Forever New, India South East Asia and Middle East told in an interview with Times, “Our client base prefers to keep things a bit discreet so we have brought home shopping to them.” Isn’t it interesting? Although I hope they are maintaining social distancing norms and taking proper precautions while visiting customer’s homes.
Reliance brands, on the other hand, is giving an all-virtual shopping experience to their customers where they are interacting with interested ones over a video call and showing their latest pieces virtually that they can pick and place an order instantly. Reliance has several brands like Burberry, Gas and Jimmy Choo under its umbrella. Similarly, Puma, the German sports brand too has tied up with Ace Turtle which lets customers come to the store, scan the barcode of the piece they like and pay online. It makes shopping safe and quick for the customers. Max Fashion is also looking at the possibility to putting up their merchandise on a shop-on-wheels in Mumbai.
Although the concept of fashion trucks is a fairly new in India, I believe it could really pick up especially in today’s time when shoppers are extremely wary of going to a physical store. I mean, I haven’t shopped at a store for the longest time and if something like that was out and about in my city, I would sure give it a shot. How about you? Would you shop at the shop-on-wheels? Let us know!