Love sees a new high for Archies on V-Day

14 Feb,2012


By Tuhina Anand


Valentine’s Day celebrations in India would be incomplete without that ubiquitous Archies card declaring undying love and probably most, when at the store, one adds some gifts too from a wide selection of red and pink love tokens. So there is no room for doubt when the company declared that Valentine’s month, as it considers the period from February 1-14, accounts for 16-18 per cent of their annual turnover.


“We have seen that 3-4 days before V-Day, the sales across our stores increase from anything between 6-10 times as compared to an average day. In fact, a day before (Feb 13), the stores witness chaos and we have to arrange for all the helping hands available to cater to this rush in many of our company-operated stores,” informed Youhan Aria, Head Corporate Communications at Archies.


In the last few years, Valentine’s Day has become a money spinner for businesses of all sorts. While few years back, this day was restricted to college-goers or youngsters, now the craze has engulfed many across the cross-section. Mutalik and Shiv Sena notwithstanding, the day is being celebrated and the phenomenon has caught on so much that even if one might not go for a high priced gift, a greeting card or maybe flowers and chocolates do figure on the gifting list.


Aria shares the example of a beat constable in Vasant Vihar in New Delhi, who did not understand the concept behind V-Day, but still walked in one of the Archies store to pick up a card. That speaks volumes on the V-Day equation and the formula of gifting.


For Archies, V-Day is bigger than any other gifting occasion which sees spikes in sales, be it Diwali, Friendship Day or Rakhi. Across its 240 stores in 66 cities, the display, too, is done keeping in mind the spirit of the day where red and pink rules.


In terms of top picks for gifting are the usual cards, soft toys, chocolates and fashion jewellery. Also, it seems, when splurging on V-Day, money is not much of a concern and people go for cards that are high on embellishments – higher the number of inserts, better it is. Also there are not too many takers for lesser-priced cards


“Over the years, the change that we have seen on the V-Day gifting is that our TG has expanded.Whereas, earlier it was restricted to only teens and young professionals, now one sees people even in their late 40s coming over to pick something. Seeing this trend, we have expanded our portfolio of gifts to cater to a wider range for different TGs,” said Mr Aria.


Also one thing that Archies has seen over the years is that sales come more easily from tier II and III cities as the number of options available in these towns are limited. Mr Aria added: “For us, competition comes from anyone, be it a coffee joint or a retail store. In fact, even laptops, jewellery brands and shops as well as restaurants are competing with us. I would call these category killers. However, an Archies store is a social expression as it fulfills its customer’s gifting needs. Even gifting a gadget is never complete on V-Day without the greeting cards, and that’s where we step in.”


Archies has seen exponential growth in the demand for their merchandise and cards on V-Day in the last few years and have been extremely satisfied with the sales during this period. While the country celebrates V-Day on February 14, for Archies, their season for this celebration has almost ended and they now start analyzing the sales and trends and get ready to celebrate the day of love for the next year. In fact work for the next year’s V-Day design of cards, based on the feedback they get every year, begins in the month of April itself.


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