Inside Indulge Fragrances: Exclusive Interview With CEO, Sanjay Vadera

Indulge-Fragrance-shop-front-770x513.jpg

At last, a brand new concept in fragrance retailing that promises to deliver what the consumer wants. It’s called Indulge Fragrances and it’s a concept fragrance store that’s just opened in Manchester’s Trafford Centre.

Breaking from the traditional retail model of rows of fragrances lined up on a shelf or dotted around on counters, Indulge is a customer oriented layout where all the products are at peoples’ fingertips.

Indulge Fragrances is the brainchild of CEO Sanjay Vandera, who also heads up The Fragrance Shop chain.I caught up with Sanjay this week to discover more about his walk-in wardrobe retail concept and how he thinks it has the potential to change the way fragrances are sold.What gave you the idea for Indulge Fragrances?

SV: The trend for treating fragrances as an extension of our outfits and having a selection that suits different seasons, times of day and moods will have an impact on the way we select fragrances. This is changing the way people shop for and select fragrances and we wanted to wrap that indulgent experience around the consumer.

We’ve done this by looking closely at the shop environment and putting great emphasis on staff training. They can present the customer with a range of suitable fragrances for them, whether for a special occasion, a new day-to-day scent or a gift for a friend.It was also conceived to celebrate the art of the bottle. So much thought, time and creative investment goes into the bottle itself, which is so often displayed in our homes as an objet d’art, but is often hidden from view at point of purchase.

You talk about a “walk-in wardrobe”? How does that work?

SV: Being surrounded by hundreds of luxury fragrances with brand imagery next to the product to guide us, holding the bottle in the hand and sampling the fragrance itself really does give the feel of your very own walk-in wardrobe of fragrances.What makes Indulge different to other fragrance retailers?

SV:The opportunity to try as many luxurious fragrances all in one place, unhindered by missing tester bottles, locked cupboards and having to circulate numerous counters in a beauty hall to find the fragrance that feels right for you or as a gift. Coupled with this is the expert guidance from our consultants who are highly knowledgeable about the fragrance industry, not restricted to specific brands, which makes the experience very different at Indulge Fragrances.

Isn’t there a conflict of interests with The Fragrance Shop?

SV: Indulge Fragrances and The Fragrance Shop share common ownership and are both designed to complement each other as separate propositions. Indulge was created as a stand-alone brand designed to appeal to a separate customer demographic.

One thing Indulge does benefit from is The Fragrance Shop’s licensed relationship with the major fragrance and beauty brands and the competitiveness this can bring to bear on prices.

Which major fragrance houses does Indulge Fragrances stock?

SV: We stock many of the premium ranges such as Chanel, Dior, Estée Lauder, Gucci, Prada, Hermes and Loewe, exclusively outside of Harrods. There are plans to get more on board. We are keen to present a well edited range of premium and limited edition fragrances and are currently in discussion with a number of fragrance brands.

Do you envisage opening more stores?

SV: Yes, there are formative plans to open more Indulge stores in the UK. Interestingly, we have been approached already by landlords keen for us to explore the idea.

The current store will provide a blueprint for further outlets to be opened in major cities across the UK. It will also act as a base to trial new services and features based on customer feedback. I believe this will help ensure that the brand remains at the forefront of innovation and high quality consumer experiences.