Victorinox opened a new brand store at the Palladium Mall, High Street Phoenix in the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai. The entire Victorinox product world can be experienced at the popular luxury shopping mall. Putting on display their from the well-known Swiss Army Knives, kitchen knives, watches, travel gear, and perfumes, the Victorinox store offers a wide range of sustainable and premium products for their customer base.
Victorinox inaugurates its first ever store in India, in Mumbai:
After the opening of stores in Vienna, Prague, and Lyon in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively, Mumbai is just the beginning of their plans for India in the coming months.Talking about the on-ground expansion and the loyalty base the brand has, Colonel Chandoke, Managing Director spoke to Lifestyle Asia about their future plans, brand perception and the premium quality of their products. Excerpts…
When did you decide to open a store in Mumbai?
So one thing that makes Victorinox as a brand store unique is there is something for every one in here. There’s something for every customer, every taste. I mean, we are serious knife makers, that’s our DNA. We make pocket knives to army knives, kitchen knives etc. We make 1,40,000 knives every day. We are also serious watchmakers, we have our own factory. We are serious travel gear makers too. We are not a fashion brand in travel gear. With the last five to six years that we’ve spent in building a strong foundation of the brand through the multi brand network, we are very touched to see the response and love we got from our customers. So when someone asks me how did I decide, or when will your first store open? I say, “We didn’t decide. The customers did.” We are already sitting on a Victorinox love base of so many customers in India. And now we are launching our aggressive six store journey. So when you talk about the store here, I see Palladium being one of the epicentres of Bombay. And people flocking in to spend money here because that’s what we do on weekends, we go to the malls, that’s our holiday.
The customer is getting very smart now. They care about what goes into making the product or whether it is sustainable or not. Can you tell us what goes into making your brand more sustainable from scratch?
Sustainability is one of the very strong values that Victorinox has in its core. To give you an example, we make 1,40,000 knives every single day. The heat generated out of the production process is captured, channelised and used to distribute in the nearby resident villages. So in Switzerland, this heat energy is used and not just let go. This is just an example of what is the value system of the company over the last 100 years. Sustainability is to well embedded into the value system of the company, the brand values. With the watches as well, again, our production processes overall has a theme of the company, sustainability is not an event for us, it is a culture, it is a way of functioning for us. Every company that makes a good quality product actually is helping the environment.
Is customising products a way of connecting better with your customers?
Yes, that’s a very important point because what more personal can something get than if you can play a role in getting it made as per your tastes. So this is where we took the customisation to the next level with our pocket knives. If you’ve seen, a customer here can enjoy the process of selecting a knife without the scale or the handle. The metal body, the knife, and then we have a choice of various colors of handles as a plug and play with a choice of colors of toothpicks, tweezers, and lanyard. So what we do this is we take the engagement to the next level as there is an emotional connect of our customers with our products. We really value that a lot.
Your pricing is quite varied. How do you think that helps the brand in being perceived by it’s customers?
We are not luxury, we are a premium brand. We don’t want to be the Rolce Royce, we are the BMW and the Audi. Secondly, our whole idea at Victorinox is to be have a very strong value for money, yet maintain our premium positioning. The quality of the product translates to what we charge ethically from the customer. We are on a standard pricing across the world now. We will have a bag worth Rs 45,000, Walnut wood block of Rs.75,000, a watch of 80,000 rupees and a kitchen knife of Rs 400. So this is the range that we offer. Interestingly, every product in itself speaks for supreme quality. And we are not in the business of bloating or just exaggerating the price for a customer.
Will we be seeing more stores opening up in India?
Yes! So we plan six of our Victorinox brand stores in the next three years. This is the first one. And all will be of the 1000 sq ft format. Bombay, Delhi and Bangalore would be the first phase. Of course, Delhi can take two or even three stores. It’s a big market. With phase two, thenwe think of the tier two Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Calcutta and Chennai. So Yeah. We are here to stay.