Azrim: R-e-tail-ing with Purpose
Last week, I posted on LinkedIn announcing that we had re-launched our website to cater to the growing needs of our clients, and combining our B2B, B2C and Wholesale operations into one single service platform entity which I would humbly like to call, B2P or Business to Purpose.
To us, it means this: we will grow our market by catering to every customer there is, and focus solely on ‘experience’ as ultimate factor of customer satisfaction. This is a natural progression from the classic 4Ps – Product, Place, Price & Promotion. We have realised that these parameters no longer influence the current retail, wholesale and trade environment. With the internet and social media – digital environment, we are seeing consumers make decisions not based on these factors, but on state-of-mind as logical, practical, emergency, emotional and illogical.
In the past 2 years, the business has seen a shift in consumer attitudes and behaviour with entry and luxury end of the market experiencing growth, and the middle market taking a downturn. This is reflected in other industries like property, bigger retail and even restaurants, and is a clear reflection of the spending habits and change of pattern in priorities of buying for the wider market.
Reaching deeper down, it can be translated as this: the entry level or low-price market has not grown by it’s own accord, but many of the middle-market customers who would generally spend on above-average to entry-luxury goods have decided to save on to their money, and instead spend more on the lower priced items. This has reduced the middle market by size and per customer dollar spend, and will remain so over the coming 2 – 3 years.
On the luxury end of the market, where quality and brand value is most important, and price takes a secondary position, we have seen an uplift in the number of consumers and also average spend per consumer. People who value craftsmanship and see value in trusted labels have invested heavily by choosing only the best. This segment will continue to grow as the top 5 – 10% have not experienced a slow-down in their cash flow or investments as yet.
This is the same reason why luxury resorts, travel, cars and restaurants are clearly booked out, and there is a perceived value in being seen wearing, eating and using the best out there for personal brand and satisfaction.
We saw these trend approaching many years prior, and read the market smartly, by bringing in luxury labels like Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis Canonico and Luciano Barbera from Italy. They have been loved and enjoyed by our customers more, as we are providing these labels as made-to-measure at 30 – 40% cheaper than any retailer, which means more value for their dollar, with more personalised service. We are noticing a growth in overseas orders from China, HongKong, India, Iran and UAE.
On the entry level selection, we have reached out to our fabric suppliers, and worked through 200 different selections of suiting and shirting fabrics to remove older collections and introduce best-value fabrics at affordable prices. This means we are now offfering mid-level cloths at entry-level prices, significantly 25 – 30% cheaper than before. It’s a double-win for the customers, and we are seeing customers who ordered a single suit previously, now choosing to buy 2 – 3 suits. This is our biggest advantage on our competitors, and we have seen a growth in orders locally, NZ, UK, USA and much of Europe in this.
Since 2004, when we started operating, we have moved away from solely focusing on menswear. In 2018, it was 75% of our products sold, with 25% for women. We decided to bring in quality suits, shirts for women in 2015, and in the last 3 years have added accessories and shoes to the selection as well.
In 2018, we decided to enter into kidswear or clothing for babies, boys and girls aged 0 – 11Y as our key market. Since the decline in Baby Gap, OshKosh and Pumpkin Patch, we have noticed significant movement in this market. Luxury brands like Armani, Dior, Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren have all grown their presence in this market, as high-end customers, inspired by influencers like Kardashians, Beyonce and others, have decided to spend large. Along with showcasing their kids on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, they’re also using leading web retailers to purchase clothes, as well as Pinterest for seeing what’s new.
Interestingly, companies like Target have launched exclusive collections in their stores with key designer labels with considerable success. This means, there is a market out there for high-quality, high-value clothing for children.
Customers on the lower priced items have also moved away from the low-quality clothing as they want to buy less, but better quality keeping hygiene, composition, safety and comfort highly. Designs are just as important, as they want their kids to be on-trend and not look like everyone else.
Seeing all of this, we have decided to invest in Azrim Kids by bringing in global leading childrenswear brands in entry, mid and luxury end. It will be available exclusively through our online site, and our listed agents, who will service the customers on a 1-on-1 basis. We see this as possibly the fastest growing segment, and expect by 2020 to be at least 10% of our product mix.
In conclusion, purpose also means responsibility – to our customers by providing best quality; to our suppliers by giving them a profitable share; to our environment by choosing ethical brands to work with., to our staff by giving them above-market wages and bonuses. We will continue to give back to communities through our involvement in Rotary International, Starship Children Hospital, education and environment impact programs in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
We are not about just profit and greed, but more about growth where we leave a legacy behind for future generations to appreciate, to enjoy and to be part of. Almost all of my customers share this vision, where they’re happy to pay more, provided we can given them sustainable, ethical solutions.
At Azrim, since 2013, we stopped focusing on sales revenue, but more on, client satisfaction, and have never sold one item that the customer has not been happy with. This has seen our business grow tremendously, resulting us in winning awards in Innovation, Customer Service, Business Ethics and more.
In 2019, we are looking for businesses in Australia, New Zealand and around the world to collaborate with. If you share the vision and values that we mentioned above, then we would welcome working strategically grow together by working on win-win opportunities that will help us provide better service, better value and most importantly, better experience to our customers.
Send me a private IM or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further via Skype, WhatsApp, Phone Call or even in person over a cup of coffee. Looking forward to your co-operation and support