While we've strengthened our online business, retail stores will continue to be important for us: Alisha Malik, Metro Brands
Alisha Malik, President Marketing and Ecommerce, Metro Brands LtdMetro Brands
Alisha Malik, President Marketing and Ecommerce, Metro Brands tells us how 2021 has been for Metro Brands
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While we've strengthened our online business, retail stores will continue to be important for us: Alisha Malik, Metro Brands

Alisha Malik, President Marketing and Ecommerce, Metro Brands tells us how 2021 has been for Metro Brands
  • Mumbai-based footwear and accessories retailer Metro Brands that houses brands like Metro Shoes, Mochi, Walkway and Davinchi is as focused on increasing its online presence as it is serious about going deeper into the country with retail stores.
  • We speak to Alisha Malik, President Marketing and Ecommerce, Metro Brands Ltd to understand how the year has been for all brands under the Metro Brands umbrella, and its areas of focus going ahead to capture a bigger market share.
While retail brands were adversely impacted by the pandemic last year, with shops and malls opening up, things are slowly falling in place. Add to that, the pent up demand of almost two years. Shops are finally witnessing increasing footfall and brands are bringing their a-game to stay top-of-mind for their consumers.

Metro Brands, a Mumbai-based footwear and accessories retailer that houses brands like Metro Shoes, Mochi, Walkway and Davinchi, and also operates Crocs in India is working towards wooing its consumers, through its omni-channel approach and by coming up with innovative campaigns to engage with its consumers.

We caught up with Alisha Malik, President Marketing and Ecommerce, Metro Brands Ltd to understand how the year has been for all the brands under the Metro Brands umbrella, their focus on increasing their online presence as well as their plans to expand their offline presence.

Excerpts:

Q) How has 2021 been for Mochi and Metro Brands? Are you on a recovery path, considering consumer sentiments are moving towards positive?
As a brand and marketeer, one of the most important things we have learnt is to quickly adapt new marketing strategies. Like every other brand and industry, the footwear industry was impacted by the pandemic too. This year with changing consumer needs and preferences we have seen a good recovery so far as compared to the last year.

Q) Did the festive season bring in some cheer for the brand this year?
The festive season has brought in a strong wave of positive sentiment in the market. We have witnessed a positive trend in sale both offline and online. There is 2 years of pent-up wedding demand that is definitely riving a positive sentiment and footfalls.

Q) Over the years, what has been your primary marketing mix for Mochi? We have seen you use traditional mediums like OOH or Print. But has there been a change now and more spends are going towards digital?
There has been a significant digital shift and dependence on technology. We are adapting to this dynamic environment and exploring new ways to engage with our customers through our social media handles and digital advertising. We are closely mapping the digital shift and reaching out to our customers through a variety of options. Both Metro and Mochi, have been coming up with engaging digital activities on an ongoing basis that has worked well with our customers. The brand is also actively trying to bridge the gap between offline and online by constantly working on solutions that will bring in the online consumers and also help them experience our stores. This year Mochi Shoes also did an interesting activity to showcase the creative side of the brand by collaborating with top graffiti artists for redefining the art of India on the Mochi stores shutters.

Q) While brick and mortar stores would be important for you, what kind of growth have you witnessed on online channels for all your brands? Are you increasing focus on online platforms to further ramp up your presence?
We have always believed in an omni-channel approach. We have our own e-commerce platforms. Additionally, we have a strong presence on marketplaces as well, including running omnichannel operations for a select few. We are growing our dedicated team of e-commerce operations. We propose to make further investments in digital marketing to build an omni-channel engagement experience for our customers. We are investing in technology and content to enhance the customer experience with the brand. While we have strengthened our online business, retail stores will always continue to be important.

Q) What are your plans of increasing your offline presence and going deeper into the country?
One of our key growth strategies is the expansion of our store network. As of March 31, 2021, Metro Brands operates 586 Stores across 134 cities spread across 29 states and union territories in India. And we continue to expand in more cities across the country. The key factor influencing the expansion of our stores is the selection of suitable locations. We will continue to adopt a methodical approach in evaluating and selecting suitable locations for the establishment of new stores, such as local population density, and identifying prime retail areas especially in regions and tier 2 and 3 that are not as highly penetrated

Q) What has your marketing strategy for Mochi been so far? Going ahead, what will your key areas of focus be, from a marketing perspective?
Recognized as a bold fashion statement, Mochi caters to young cosmopolitan Indians, who want to constantly upgrade their style with their ever-changing fashion requirements. This year the brand launched its digital campaign the #MakersOfAwesome. With the Gen-z making the digital mediums as their stage, we want to be a brand that recognizes their efforts and encourage them to be the best version of themselves. It's the world of creators today, and our campaign is a way to recognize the community. As a part of the campaign, Mochi also roped in top graffiti artists of India to splash its shop shutters across several cities with a dash of awesomeness. Apart from this, the brand also introduced its sustainable eco- friendly footwear range ‘Ecoz Collection’ which is made from recycled PET bottles.