With a market share of more than 60% in the organized sector, Archies Ltd. is currently India’s market leader in the social expression sector. It has developed from a firm that just sold cards to a full-fledged social expressions enterprise. Greeting cards and gifts are sold through a chain of stores run by Archies Limited.
The company owns a network of retail locations where it sells greeting cards, gifts, and other items like stuffed animals, baby books, gift baskets, jewellery, and accessories. Varun Moolchandani, Executive Director of Archies Ltd, talks with Adgully about his long history with the company, business potential and challenges, the pandemic’s effects, and other topics.
What effects has the pandemic had on India’s social expression market? How did Archies Ltd. fare over the past two years?
For all of us, the pandemic has been a very trying time economically. It caused a significant epidemic for stakeholders in the entire business. We worked on an offline channel for the longest time because it was primarily a brick-and-mortar model. Our sales plummeted immediately after COVID-19 broke out, and as a result, several company-owned stores had to close owing to low foot traffic. The majority of the mall closures were caused by unnegotiated leases and agreements. We began our e-commerce business through archiesonline.com and began selling our products on more than 20 online marketplaces as a result of managing the full pandemic issue.
How do you keep your brand equity strong in the nation?
A significant portion of a brand’s influence on society is due to brand awareness and recognition. We are a 43-year-old public limited company that has had a strong brand image from the beginning and has modelled its business accordingly. We are the market leader in the gifts and social expression industry. To maintain and expand the reach of our brand image, Archies has more than 300 offline locations (175 corporate stores and 135 franchises) and more than 1000 retailers around the country. Through our e-commerce website archiesonline.com, where clients can conveniently purchase our products, we are currently promoting our products online.
What difficulties do establish brands face in the start-up era? What steps have you taken to deal with them?
We don’t yet see anyone employed in the gifts and social expression sector in this start-up era. By developing unique items that the market has not yet seen, we are aiming to broaden the frontiers of our business both online and offline. We have started a digital marketing campaign and added collections to each category that are appropriate for every day and every occasion to connect with the new age consumer and this generation of speedy deliveries. We have carefully noted that to survive in the market, one must continually update and upgrade.