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Babulal Jewellers from Raipur, transforming from a 190 sq. ft. to 5000 sq. ft. with a vision to change the brand’s perception and old-school image to enter into a new league

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Established in 1997, Babulal Jewellers’ 190 sq. ft. store has been catering to a small loyal customer base for the last two decades. A stagnant business, lack of new walk-ins, and, even more concerning –visible disinterest of the new generation from families of loyal and generation-old customers necessitated a complete business overhaul.

In 2023, the 5000 sq. ft. store, launched away from the Sarafa market as a stand-alone jewellery outlet amongst other high-fashion boutiques and cafes, is a firm measure to change the brand’s perception and old-school image, catapulting Babulal Jewellers into a new league.

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“Transforming our business became necessary; trust is not the only factor we want to rely on for future growth”

Vikal Soni – Director, Babulal Jewellers

In the vibrant city of Raipur, where many jewellery retail behemoths have marked their presence with large stores, Vikal Soni, Owner of Babulal Jewellers, is carving a niche for himself after more than six decades in business.

As per Soni, the jewellery market holds immense potential, yet, the business has been stagnant as the new generation from families of loyal and generation-old customers did not find the store appealing enough to pay a visit. “The store did not drive traffic from new shoppers. Nor were our repeat customers referring new buyers,” he says. This revelation prompted Soni to embark on a journey of reinvention. “Transforming our business became necessary; trust is not the only factor we want to rely on for future growth,” he adds.

The era of experiential retail, contemporary ambience, and grander choice became the catalyst for change. The new store is a conscious effort to tap into future market opportunities. From a small retail store of 190 sq. ft. selling gold jewellery, taking a giant leap into the future with a 5000 sq. ft. store is a firm measure to change the brand’s perception and old-school image.

“We wanted to expand the jewellery offerings, create a new experiential environment for shoppers, generate referrals and be more visible to potential up-market customers through the new store concept,” says Soni.

Soni thoughtfully and strategically selected an elite retail location for the new store to achieve the latter. The brand is now strategically situated alongside high-fashion boutiques and cafes, away from the bustling jewellery high street in Sarafa Market.

“We wanted to be seen in a new retail environment. It is based on our understanding of the non-jewellery brands our potential customers are attuned to and associated with today. We want to change our positioning and attract customers for whom jewellery is high-fashion and a lifestyle,” he says. This well-considered move ensures the jeweller stands out as a stand-alone jewellery store, commanding the attention of discerning customers seeking a unique and exclusive shopping destination.

The new retail outlet has three floors allowing Soni to straddle the demand from existing customers and create a more aspirational set-up for to-be clients. The ground level, he says, has inventory as per the expectations of their loyal customers who continue to buy from them. “Although we are trying to diversify our target audience and want younger generations to become our customers, we don’t want to lose our existing ones. We cater to them like before and will keep the business the same for them,” says Soni.

The second level is high-end and luxurious, displaying a new range of designs that redefine and catapult the brand into a new league. “The space is designed to cater to the demands of potential customers who are not thus far a part of our brand universe,” he adds.

Soni has expanded the inventory, focusing mainly on gold—a category in which they had traditionally excelled. However, the previously limited representation of diamonds in their collection—merely 7% of their inventory—necessitated a strategic shift. Soni is ambitious about the diamond business, “We expect the diamond jewellery business to grow from a meagre 5 per cent to 25 per cent within a year,” he says. Overall, the brand has increased its inventory by 50 per cent.

Despite Raipur’s existing diamond market and the presence of established diamond retailers, Soni remains confident in his ability to carve out a niche. He believes the selective and captivating range of designs, from small sets to elaborate bridal collections, will entice customers to buy once they set afoot in the store. “We don’t want to be stock-heavy. We are keeping a more exclusive range. We will improvise the range as we better understand the demand patterns,” he says.

” We wanted to be seen in a new retail environment. It is based on our understanding of the non-jewellery brands our potential customers are attuned to and associated with today. We want to change our positioning and attract customers for whom jewellery is high-fashion and a lifestyle “

While the business has yet to unleash its marketing efforts fully, its recent store launch began an exciting chapter. With plans to launch a comprehensive media outreach campaign soon, they are poised to capture the market’s attention and establish themselves as a prominent player in Raipur. “The store is a labour of love; we have built it over the last two years. Now we will look into the finer aspects of building the brand,” he says.

Soma Bhatta with inputs from Maithili Patange

The Retail Jeweller Magazine

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