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The Loot– Giving you the best value for

money
Jay Gupta, in conversation with Rahul Basu, talks about The Loot and what makes it one of the
most sought after value-for money retail chains in recent times
The Loot– Giving

In a country where
youngsters, working men and
women are becoming more
and more fashion conscious,
a ëbrandí plays a crucial role
in helping the consumer take
a decision. Clothes and
apparels in India today are in
plenty and with consumers
becoming more and more
brand conscious and at the
same time seeking value for
money purchases, many
retailers find it difficult to Mr Jay Gupta
satisfy their customers on
both accounts. One brand, which has managed to achieve this successfully in a very short
span of time is The Loot.

Brand identity
The Loot is the first value store in India for customers looking to get value for money
purchases on some of the finest brands in apparel, shoes and other accessories. The Loot
currently has around 100 operational stores spread across 20 states, where customers can
get amazing discounts on an array of brands such as Puma, Adidas, Reebok, Lee Cooper,
Red Tape, among 100 brands in total, that are sold at The Loot.

The ëbest dealí brand has established Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover as their brand
ambassador. ìLoot from the brand and give it to the consumer at a discounted price, that is
one of the ëstrategiesí we have adopted, everything else has got built around it,î says Mr
Jay Gupta, Managing Director, The Loot.

Catering to different consumer groups


Initially starting as a casual store catering to the age group of 18ñ25 years, The Loot later
moved ahead and began selling products under different categories, ranging from shoes,
apparel, accessories for men, women and kids. One of the unique features of the brand is
that they effortlessly cater to customers from every strata of the society. Their multi-
branded stores offer branded goods at discounted prices, which ultimately makes their
products resonanbly priced.
For e.g., a pair of jeans for Rs 600, a smart shirt for Rs 400ñ500 can be found at their
outlets. This makes their products extremely favoured and popular even among brand
conscious shoppers with tight pockets. ìWe have created a niche for ourselves and donít
have too much competition, because every other store is an original priced store and hence
at the national level we donít see much competition,î says Mr Gupta.

Formulating its presence


In terms of bringing about awareness about their relatively new but steadily growing brand,
The Loot has relied heavily on word-of-mouth publicity, which made them a success story.
The initial two-and-a-half years did not yield them much recognition, but in the last year or
two, the companyís stature and reputation has grown in leaps and bounds. People have
become aware of this latest value-for-money store on the block, which guarantees good
quality products at reduced rates. ìMumbai has been witness to the growth of The Loot.
Here, customers have seen small stores, medium sized (1,000 sq ft) stores and even
enormous (3,000 sq ft) stores of The Loot,î says Mr Gupta.

The discount dealers have also used the print medium to a large extent and engaged in a
number of ground activities. By providing sponsorships for local college events, distribution
of gift vouchers and promoting regional events around the store, they have gained
recognition among the people and so far have managed to successfully cater to their needs.

Mr Gupta feels that the media has played a significant role in making the brand a household
name. The rise and success of The Loot has set an example to young entrepreneurs seeking
to achieve success in their niche segments.

Unique decor
Another very unique feature of the brand is the look of their stores. The name itself is quite
unique and is in synch with what the brand stands for. On entering their stores you will
notice a box containing few decorative weapons, which says ëgrab your weaponí. This
ensures a certain level of excitement every time you visit a Loot store. When you walk
inside you will notice that the Indian brand takes a lot of inspiration from a jail or police
type of attitude. Part of the store design includes a structure designed to look like a jail,
which they have converted into a ramp; this is where people have to walk, every time they
try on new clothes sold at the outlets.
Marketing strategies
The brand which was started in 2004, has received a number of marketing awards and was
presented with the prestigious Tata Award last year for the best ëstart upí company. This
has further motivated them to scale new heights and extend the reach of their brand
through their website, which has contributed tremendously in maintaining a one-to-one
relationship with their customers and receiving continuous feedback on their goods and
discounts, which has been thoroughly satisfactory so far.

'It's a rugged Indian brand; nothing goes smooth in India, so you have to be rugged and
tough, you have to adapt,' says Mr Gupta, while speaking of the strategies adopted by the
brand.

Challenges
In the process of building its successful brand, The Loot faced a lot of challenges from all
the departments. Apart from having no prior knowledge or expertise on building a brand,
they relied on their experience and inputs from seminars and managed to form a fine
brand. Getting the entire team together was also not an easy task. Providing them with the
necessary training, grooming and then retaining them has been a further challenge. The
brand which has come to be known as the store for ëGreat Steals on Big Brandsí, faced
these challenges with very limited resources. Also, as they did not have the backing of a
large corporate house, they had to make sure the decisions taken by them were the right
ones.

More than just a value store


Certain consumers do want to be associated with the brand and say they want to become
their franchisee. People want to join the company and often send in their resumes, with the
hope of working for The Loot. Thanks to their website, people are now able to shop from
remote places where their outlets are not operational.

Mr Gupta admits that he never expected online sales to soar in India, but it is growing and
he wants to be a part of it. The website has brought the brand closer to its customers.

The acceptance of the media has further enhanced their success ratio and they are now
able to advertise more easily and bring about the consumersí absolute attention to their
latest schemes and value for money deals. The Loot has plans of doubling its stores and
thanks to their franchisee, the brand plans to open 150 stores by Diwali this year. So, the
next time you are looking for a good deal on your favourite brands of apparel, shoes and
accessories all under one roof, be sure to visit The Loot.

Brand: The Loot Store


Industry: Retail/Multi-brand Discount Store
Location: Mumbai
The Loot is a multi-brand discount chain offering a wide range of products in apparel, footwear
and accessories for men, women and kids with discounts ranging between 25% and 60 % on top
national and international brands. In a time span of about 5 years now, The Loot has managed to
expand to have 150 stores (40 company stores, 110 franchised) across 85 cities in 22 states with
3 Lac square feet operational area; among which, about 100 was setup in the period of recession.
“We have avoided being inside the mall. Our property and operational has been very low. We
had already gotten into Tier-2 & Tier-3 cities where recession did not really make much
difference,” says Jay Mehta. The Loot has witnessed growth at 55 percent year on year, and
currently is sitting at a turnover of 107 Crore, with a target of achieving 200 Crore this year. This
self funded venture is looking at doing an IPO in the coming year.

Founder: Jay Gupta

Investors: Self Funded, SBI Bank Funding

Key Clients: Puma, Madhura Garments, Reebok,


Adidas, Nike, Levis, etc

Top-Line: 107 Crore

URL:
Jay Gupta

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THE LOOT LAUNCHES ITS 26TH STORE IN MUMBAI


Last updated : January 07, 2008 00:00 IST

The Loot - Great steals on big brands! The Loot - the multi branded discount
store launched its 26th outlet in India in Mumbai. This is the 13th LOOT store in
Mumbai and located at the prime location on link road, Malad. The Malad store was
launched keeping in mind The Loot`s integral message - "Great Steals on big
brands". The entire store is laid out on a total area of 3000 sq ft with an entire
range of merchandise for both men and women. To make shopping a treat, the
store`s trial room is designed as a prison cell to give an entirely different feel in
comparison to the staid trial rooms that one often finds in a retail showroom. The
Loot is also the one stop shop for all formal and casual footwear, branded travel
gear and accessories like binoculars, tool kits, backpacks, water sippers, caps, and
much more. Apart from the well known brands like Kappa, Bossini, Adidas, Nike,
CAT, ID, Spykar, Tuscan Verve, W, Welspun, Puma, Reebok, Eccentrics,
Fila, Umbro, New Balance, Van Huesen, Mercedes, Allen Solly, Allen Solly -
women, Arrow, Lee, Lee Cooper, Wrangler, Pepe Jeans, Parx, Park Avenue,
Blackberry`s, Rifle, Ragz jeans, Recap, SF jeans the store also sources brands
from international markets, most of which are unavailable in the country, all at
discounts in the range of 25% to 60%. The LOOT occupies around 1, 50,000 square
feet of retail space and houses more than 60 brands of apparel and accessories.
According to Mr. Jay Gupta, MD, The Loot "We at The LOOT assure our customers a
complete shopping experience for their entire family with amazing multi branded
collections for men, women and kids. Try out the trendy branded clothing, which are
sure to make other`s heads turn without you feeling the pinch in your wallet." The
company is on track to achieving a total turnover of Rs.60 crores before the end of
this financial year and aims to do a turnover of Rs.100 crores by 2009. The
Company is opening one store a fortnight which is a record of sorts and by the end
of year 2009 will have close to around 100 stores across India. The company will
decide on its fund raising plans after reaching a turnover of Rs.100 crores to further
increase its network to penetrate into B and C class towns in India.

The LOOT started in the year 2004 as a "Value Retail" format store, post the launch
and the stupendous success of its first store, The LOOT has set up 25 outlets, and is
working towards launching a new store every 15 days in Mumbai and other cities
across India. "The LOOT" is a multi-branded discount store, offering customers a
wide range of merchandise with discounts ranging between 25% -60% - throughout
the year. The LOOT`s strength as a retailer lies in proper procurement & an
excellent supply chain management system which helps in getting better pricing
from the manufacturer and thereafter passing the benefit on to the consumer. The
LOOT currently offers the perfect mix of unisex clothes in semi-formal, formal,
casuals, sports apparel, kids wear, footwear, accessories etc.

Winner of MPEC 2009


A store by the name of “The Loot” is fast
being recognized as the biggest thing to
hit retail therapy in India in a long time.
Jay Gupta is the man with the plan
behind “The Loot”. A second generation
entrepreneur, he has already gained a foothold on
the hearts minds and pockets of shoppers with his
unique yet simple concepts. In an interview withYourstory dynamic entrepreneur Jay
Gupta let us in on the story behind “The Loot”.

Jay told us about how the idea struck him and how it all evolved saying “I started
business in 1996 when I stumbled upon an article in a magazine which selected –
Chain of Hotels, Banks and Retail as ever growing profitable businesses. I opted for
Retail, initially to get into the garment and footwear business by opening
franchisees stores for brands like Colour Plus, Adidas, Nike, Weekender, Provogue,
Quickies coffee shop etc. but soon realized that I was not able to give the BEST to
the customers. The customer wanted to buy brands at an affordable price.”

“After a lot of pondering I got into the idea of giving the best brands to the
customer at the best prices under one roof by setting up the
1st ‘The Loot’ store in 2004. The Loot can thus be considered
as the pioneer of multi branded discount chains. The Loot
was the only multi-brand retail venture that offered
minimum 25% off –upto 60% all 365 days of the year
on guaranteed products and prices. The concept was
well accepted & appreciated by both the customers &
business associates. Soon there was multiplication of the
stores & The Loot has set up over 110 stores (approximately
300000 sq. ft. retail carpet area) in 75 cities and 20 states
throughout the country.”

It is safe to say that most of our readers by now will certainly be searching for their
share of “The Loot”, however cheap prices are not their only attraction. Jay told us
how the store serves all customers young and old. He said “Anybody and everybody
can benefit by shopping from The Loot. Earlier we targeted only the youth but today
we are a family store and target men, women and children. The target audience is
quite versatile and varies from upper, upper middle class or middle class. We are
targeting a mass audience. We have changed theshopping habits of people and
made big brands affordable to everybody.

The Loot was nominated one amongst the series of 12 startups – “Small Ideas Big
Changes” by The Hindustan Times – ‘For hordes of college students and youngsters
who want to look chic but don’t want to or can’t afford to pay hefty sums to buy
branded clothes-The Loot is godsend.’”

“The Loot is a multi-brand discount store offering minimum 25% discount which
goes upto 60% - throughout the year. I think we have revolutionized the value
retailing segment as we are the pioneers of this concept. There is still a huge
potential in this category and we are definitely leveraging on it.”

You may not have heard of The Loot before this but chances are you will in the
coming days. Jay plans to have at least one store operational near you in the
coming year. He states “The concept has been well received and considering many
factors e.g. rising young population, increase in disposable income, awareness
about brands etc. there is huge scope for expansionof the stores. We are therefore
planning to be amongst the Top 3 retail companies in the next 5 years and have a
plan to have over 1000 stores panIndia by then.”

His zest for entrepreneurship was implanted by his family. He explained how they
influenced him saying “Belonging to a small business family, I have always been
looking upto my father and seen his dealings and day-to-day activities…that’s when
the passion of doing something unique on my own developed. Apart from this I have
always been independent and the thought of service or working under someone
never occurred to me.

Right from my younger days, I wanted to do something on my own & create an


organization.”

Once Jay decided to put his idea into action there was no stopping him. That does
not mean he had it easy. Jay told us about his difficulties saying “Environmental
challenges were to fight stringent rules & regulations and red-tapeism …. In retail
one needs to get 20+ approvals of various laws including licenses and non-practical
laws, file various returns etc.”

“The challenges were team management & financial management to take the
company to a much different and higher level and keep fully equipped with
infrastructure and to handle competition. It has been possible to meet these
challenges by having a professional management at all levels.”

“To build a competent team for growth and development and to clear internal and
external misconceptions about the concept of The Loot was the challenge
particularly convincing the consumers about the quality of the merchandise and
convey to them that we are not dealing in seconds but are original surplus product
stores.”

His family and friends supported him and backed him with finances. However Jay
was contemplating something else entirely, he says “The only thing in my mind was
to recover and repay the loans at the earliest.”

Since then they did recover and in stellar fashion. Jay reports “We have grown at a
very fast and consistent basis at the rate of about 80% increase y-o-y and we
currently have over 110 stores panIndia with 2 offices in Mumbai, one in Bangalore
and opening shortly in Delhi.”

With over a 100 stores within 4 years of the inception of the company, “The Loot”
happens to be the fastest growing chain of multi branded discount stores.

It is no wonder then that the media sat up and took notice. The Loot was nominated
one amongst a series of 12 startups – “Small Ideas Big Changes” by The Hindustan
Times.

As per The Franchising World (2008), The Loot is amongst the Top 50 business
opportunities in India.

The Loot has been conferred with the following awards:

“Star Entrepreneur Award”


“Pioneering efforts in retail concept creation”

“Young Retail Achiever of the Year Award”

“Star Youth achiever Award”

Personally Jay regards the “TATA NEN Hottest Start up award” as the most
prestigious award as yet. He describes his entrepreneurial journey saying “It’s an
adrenaline rush, seeing the company grow at a fast pace and watching content,
satisfied customer’s increases this drive.”

Jay is no stranger to success and passed on his views on how to attain it saying
“The idea has to be stemmed out of customer needs and wants. There has to be
enough market potential for the business. I also think personal observation and
experience should be put to use building up this idea and the target audience
should be kept in mind.”

“My personal example: At a time when branded apparel retail was taking
flight in India, I sat behind a desk at the retail franchises outlet and
watched several people walking in but very few of them actually buying
anything. That is when I realized that although the business had a lot of
potential customers, they did not convert into sales. And then I decided to
bridge the gap in between the average Mumbaikar’s desire to own a brand
and his unwillingness to spend on it. From this observationThe Loot was
born.”

“Stay put, enjoy what you are doing, lots of hard work and dedication is the mantra
to success.”

We congratulate Jay on his entrepreneurial vision and wish him the best for the days
to come.