01 Nov 2018
Founded in 2010, TOONZ is a one-stop solution for all kid`s needs. What started off as a business based on licensed cartoon character merchandising, now boasts of over 107 multi-brand stores spanning 15 states in the domestic market.
"Very soon, we realised that cartoon merchandise space, although a big space, isn`t a profitable one, as character merchandise is only 10 per cent-15 per cent of total kid`s wardrobe - and apart from that, kids require a lot of other garments as well. Initially we started out by tapping a few brands catering to the kidswear market because we envisioned a multi-brand concept. This move was met with its own set of challenges - somebody was supplying good shirts, somebody was good at T-shirts, somebody was supplying good jeans..., we looked for quality certifications which weren`t available for many of these brands, and regional specifications weren`t met - so we decided on creating our own products. This worked well for us because of our strong network in the domestic scenario which made us realise that captive consumption is good enough for us to start a brand,"says Sharad Venkta, Managing Director at TOONZ.
It was then that TOONZ came up with two of its own in-house brands called ‘WOWMOM’ and ‘SUPERYOUNG’ in 2012 with a smart casual range.
With 300 pieces per style, WOWMOM focuses on the segment spanning from the newborns up to 3 years, while SUPERYOUNG caters to kids in the age group of 3 to 12 years. Taking certain learnings along the way, TOONZ understood that there was a big gap in the festive space which could not be catered to by the existing casual range, so it launched a ‘SUPERYOUNG CELEBRATION’ line which includes partywear and ethnic outfits for kids aged from 3 to 12 years.
With the brand’s ‘No Questions Asked’ exchange policy, customers can exchange a product which has not been used, within 30 days, with an extended exchange policy in genuine cases.
“We are not a cheap brand but we are a value brand. We take certificate for colour grading, for tearing, for nickel-free garments which are all safety standard requirements,” Sharad explains.
As families increasingly become nuclear with every passing day, millennial parents are unequipped with proper information regarding what products are required under which situations. To tackle this issue, TOONZ has allocated a ‘Champion’ in the Baby Care Section at every store, who communicates with women shoppers in a manner that they would understand. The brand also employs fashion consultants in the Garments Section who help, guide and suggest new products to customers.
TOONZ provides another service wherein before going for delivery, ‘mothers to be’ can visit the store and select certain products which are directly shipped to their place post-delivery. This is largely popular in Tier-2 cities because smaller markets have limited choice as compared to metros which are flooded with options. Sharad also shares that they have a loyalty program where points get added which can be later redeemed.
“In loyalty, we record the customer’s age as well, so we get certain details such as the baby’s date of birth, etc. We know that if the baby is going to turn 3 years old, the customer still has potential for 9 more years which further helps us to devise a proper communication channel with them. We come to know their birthdays, so we can just wish them, invite them to our store with a special exclusive birthday discount, to keep them hooked,” avers Sharad.
The brand provides 450 options per season divided into the core and fashion ranges. The core range has a higher quantity owing to demand and is replenished fortnightly, whilst the fashion range has a lower quantity with no replenishment. As Sharad explains,
“Our entire replenishment happens on two bases, for example, we change seasons and after that every month we introduce fresh looking merchandise into our stores. Spring/Summer has two parts to it – one is Spring, which has larger quantities and options – may be 70 per cent options, and the other is Summer, which comes with 30 per cent options, thereby refreshing the store again. Certain products are replenished depending upon their performance.” The brand follows five sizes in the 0-6 bracket – 6-12, 12-24, 24-36; and in the 3-12 bracket, it does seven sizes which are 3-4, 4-5, 5-6, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11 and 11-12.
The multi-brand retailer expects to reach five states this season, through the general trade market which comprises of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Telangana. The brand is also working on expanding the product categories of WOWMOM with plans for 120 doors by the end of this fiscal. Internationally, TOONZ boasts of five customers including Nepal, Mauritius and Saudi Arabia. These are multi-brand retailers which carry the retailer’s in-house brands. TOONZ also has its own three stores in Saudi Arabia through a franchise.