At Titan retail has its own purpose role and identity which draws inspiration from the product brand but is not subservient to it. Retail is therefore seen as a strategic function and is handled by a separate team at the corporate office.
The growth of the retail organization has been achieved in a phased manner: In phase one (time span 1987 – 1992) the company opened its first showroom in Bangalore with the single objective of showcasing the Titan brand. Titan was at that time, responsible for two extremely important revolutions in the consumer market.
1) The first was the introduction of quartz watches which were more superior to the mechanical watches in terms of accuracy and the number of styling options that could be offered and
2) Second, was the display of a large range of watches under one roof where the ambience and the environment was comfortable and the prices were uniformly displayed.
The next phase (1992-1998) saw the organization open the first few stores with just an interest in showcasing the brand. They however found that these showrooms were immensely profitable. The World of Titan (WOT) soon became one of the serous channels of business. The exclusive showrooms (WOTs) became a catalyst to the Titan watch trade in general. The success of the WOT showrooms encouraged trade to make a shift from just selling to retailing. These developments saw a growth in the markets and enhanced profitability.
In the next stage (1998-2004) the WOTs were seen by the organization as a driver of growth for the company – increasing penetration in the smaller towns, increasing the number of showrooms across cities and increasing presence as WOTs in large malls and popular shopping locations.
This channel was seen as an extremely profitable brand ambassador. There is a dual focus where these showrooms are reinvented every five years or so, in terms of the looks, the ambience and the retail experience. This has become necessary with the emergence of customers who is exposed to international retail standards. Further, the brand has also had to respond to a number of international brands that have now been launched in the domestic market. The brand imagery has become more contemporary international and fashionable. The new layouts provide for innovative walls displays, interspersed with accessories and islands like counters all designed to encourage the modern evolved customer to browse at his or her leisurely pace, breaking away from the old fashioned concept of selling from behind the counter?
The World of Titan is the face of Titan in the marketplace. Hence, each showroom has a turnover of about Rs 20 to 30 million a year in large cities and about half a million rupees a year in smaller towns. All existing showrooms exhibit a consistently high growth of about 15% to 25% every year. The World of Titan stores show a healthy return on investment of more than 24%. Although the net earning potential of a showroom varies from market to market, in all cases it exceeds the market rental value of the property. Most showrooms break even in the first years and start making profits from the second year on wards.
Titan has a dedicated retail team with professional expertise in setting up and operating showrooms across the country. This team is dedicated to the World of Titan and works on improving their business potential. Besides each of the showrooms also has an Authorized Service Center. This service center is not only a profitable business by itself, but also helps drive traffic to the stores adds equity to the showrooms and helps build trust among customers.
Titan has also set up Time Zone outlets which have brought together the country’s top watch retailers and leading brands under one roof. This provides the customers with a variety of brands, looks and price ranges, and is backed by efficient after sales service. It has helped the brand retain leadership through a process of dealer loyalty and address the customer who is undecided about the brand.
Titan value Mart on the other hand, sells surplus stocks of Titan watches at reduced prices, offering fabulous value for money with the same warranty as a regular full priced watch.