A little Italian stroke on Lahore’s cityscape
August 27, 2009
Ditch the Skyscrapers!
August 28, 2009

Lahore is changing and evolving. People are moving out of the city to the suburbs. Gulberg is becoming the new down-town commercial/retail district. Residential properties are being converted into mixed-use commercial properties on the roads linking MM Alam Road and Main Boulevard. Noor Jehan Road is the new MM Alam Road. Is this good or bad? It all depends on your point of view. By Fareeha Qayoom

the Changing city scapeBy Fareeha Qayoom

the Changing city scape Lahore is changing and evolving. People are moving out of the city to the suburbs. Gulberg is becoming the new down-town commercial/retail district. Residential properties are being converted into mixed-use commercial properties on the roads linking MM Alam Road and Main Boulevard. The off-shoots of Hussain Chowk are the new MM Alam Road. Is this good or bad? It all depends on your point of view.

the Changing city scape Personally I hate the lack of trees on our main boulevards – Pakistan is a hot country – the least you can do is plant trees in major metropolitan areas to attract foot traffic! Then, there is traffic congestion, inadequate exits on the main roads, potholes and broken roads, in fact, the entire road network in our so-called commercial/retail district is horrible, inadequate parking arrangements in front of major shopping areas like Pace, Hafeez Center, HKB Liberty, open garbage disposal points, lack of sufficient drainage in case of rains, (the whole of Gulberg gets submerged in rain water!), there are no arrangements for pedestrians to park the car and browse the malls – no traffic signals to make the crossing of the roads easier and yes, no public restrooms! Shopping in Lahore is a nightmare. How can you expect to attract tourists to come over from all over Punjab to shop in Lahore?

Our town planners seem to be sleeping on the job, letting private sector build ad-hoc when and where they please. But things are not so bleak. Here are three examples of smart design from the shopper’s point of view on our urban retail developments sphere – Men’s store, Levi’s and Dockers San Francisco. Though, again parking is inadequate at these places too, but you can’t have everything – can you?

Know your Luxury Brands

Know Your Luxry Brands

Urban Retail Development: Luxury brands – Men’s Store

Know Your Luxury Brands

There was a time when the term ‘Luxury’ was applied to an exclusive group of products, targeted at an ‘exclusive’ group of people. Nowadays, it is no longer just the rich and famous who buy luxury brands; consumers from all walks of life surround themselves with exquisite and luxury brands.

Asim Buksh is the man behind Men’s Store – though the store originally started out as men’s clothing and accessories retailer, the widespread success and recognition soon allowed it to diversify and expand into women’s wear and accessories. “I got the original idea during one of my travels to Europe. I enjoy clothes. I kept seeing these brands everywhere. I started wondering how come these brands are not in Pakistan… That’s how men’s store began. I started the store on the ground floor of HKB, in those days, the ground floor used to stock rolls of fabric,” he confides. The rest as they say is history.

Know Your Luxry Brands

In all fairness, even I wasn’t expecting the kind of success Men’s Store has achieved in the past fourteen years. It’s way beyond my expectations,” he says. Today, Men’s Store is Buksh Group’s venture into an alliance with high fashion brands, carrying some of the biggest names in the international arena. The chain is now spread across Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad and hosts brands like Armani, Boss, Zegna, Gucci, and most recently the high-profile Brioni and Chaumet.

Special services like Zegna and Armani made-to-measure and exclusive purchase have been introduced for top clients to provide the finest in personalized indulgence. Men’s Store now has exclusive representation in Pakistan for all the 14 brands it hosts including Bang and Olufsen. “We have moved from selling high-end merchandise to selling life styles,” he continues. “Our retail philosophy is all about lifestyles.”

Know Your Luxry Brands

Asim takes the Men’s Store very personally. “This is my baby. This place is everything to me. I enjoy what I do. It’s not about cash flow – I want to have fun. If you tell me to sell Hyundai cars, I can never do that,” he says throwing up his hands in the air with horror. Ironically, his latest venture is about cars, three of the world’s premium motor brands, Land Rover, Bentley and Jaguar but that’s another story.

Bang and Olufsen stands for excellence, originality, synthesis and passion. The award winning designs of David Lewis set the brand apart which is why B&O is more than just an audio-visual name; it’s a life style statement

DockersDockers Dockers San Francisco

Reinventing the apparel landscape in Pakistan

Stand alone retail stores are the newest chapter in a brand evolution that began when Dockers ® added “San Francisco” to its name in an open bid to align itself with this city’s laid-back, sophisticated image. That aesthetic has been carried into the products and is central to Dockers® re-positioning strategy. Casual wear is as important today as it has ever been. The stores now showcase Dockers® from a “one-dimensional” product of khaki pants into a full men’s lifestyle brand.

Dockers

Dockers® has introduced four men’s categories: work, weekend, golf and dress. Each category has a full array of tops, knits and accessories to complement the Dockers ® trouser. This approach allows Dockers® to sell a lot more of its products. The weekend category includes shorts and tees; dress means ties and blazers; and golf means dedicated golf pants rather than standby khakis. Dockers® is known for its product innovation. One example is the Dockers® Never-Iron™ Collection: An exclusive Dockers® line that is machine

Dockers

washable and provides a “straight from the dry cleaner look” right out of the dryer. Never-Iron™ products include shirts, pants and blazers, made with luxuriously soft fabrics that keep their stylish edge throughout the day – perfect for the office and business travel.

Dockers From floor to ceiling, every element of the store’s design is intended to showcase the brand’s San Francisco-inspired style and aesthetics. The polished wooden floor, glass and metal features provide contemporary details. The Dockers® company operated stores mark the next phase of brand growth, providing consumers with visibility and access to the most comprehensive Dockers® product assortment found in Pakistan.

Levi'sLevi’s, source of original blue jeans in town

Don’t suffer from the denimblues! Go to your nearest Levi’s store in town! Don’t have money? Not a problem. Visit their factory outlets on Peco Road or Karim Block for close-outs and discount offers!

levis

Denim Giant Levi Strauss & Co has fifty stores in major urban centers of Pakistan. Cities like Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Multan, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, Haiderabad and

Levi's Store

Quetta. Levi’s is working on developing a separate brand identity for their two brands – Levi’s® and Dockers San Francisco® in Pakistan right now. This has already been done in Lahore and Islamabad. Long term, Levi’s plans to move into franchised retail footprint reducing their stake in company operated stores in Pakistan.

“Levi’s believes in investing in product and store differentiation, we do not follow the usual industry practices,” says Mir Zia Mehmood, marketing manager Levi Strauss Pakistan. “Ours is a lean and mean organization. We have a different point of view on product promotion. We don’t believe in spending on hoardings or buying a six page ad in GT, instead we are investing in outlets and in store experience. We believe in standing out, bringing consistent change –we believe in communicating with our customer directly through the in-store shopping experience. Our customer is always looking for something new.”

This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, issue 1, May 2008.

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Tkfr.com and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.

3 Comments

  1. Shop! Mary Por­tas at Levi’s
    Shop! Mary Por­tas finds the Levi’s brand is back on track.

    By Mary Por­tas
    Pub­lished: 7:00AM BST 08 Jul 2010

    Rat­ing 7/10

    Good for set­ting a new bench­mark in denim retail­ing.

    Bad for the web­site, and that bloke with the mus­cles (see below)

    If you’re in front of a tele­vi­sion on Mon­day night you might catch the last in my series, Mary Queen of Shops (BBC Two, 9pm). The premise of these lat­est pro­grammes has been sim­ple: if we don’t do some­thing to arrest the spread of the supermarkets,we’ll lose our high streets. Tesco et al are now so pow­er­ful and omnipresent that they can sell prac­ti­cally any­thing they like, which is hav­ing a big impact on every type of local shop. So I turned my atten­tion to trades that hith­erto had been for­eign to me, such as green­gro­cery, hair and beauty, DIY.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/shoppingandfashion/7866361/Shop-Mary-Portas-at-Levis.html

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  2. Anti-encroachment drive
    Dawn Editorial
    Monday, 19 Jul, 2010

    Drives against encroachments are a risky business in Karachi. This observation is borne out by the death of two people in a botched operation to clear encroachments in the Baldia Town area last week. Officials of the local government’s revenue department, assisted by the police, launched the operation to clear 174 acres of state land by demolishing what they claimed were illegal structures.

    But the drive had to be called off when violence erupted: the police say members of the land mafia put up armed resistance, leading to the deaths. The operation has been criticised by the Awami National Party, which enjoys support in the area. The party claims that the coalition partners in the Sindh government were still discussing how to carry out the anti-encroachment drive in the area when the operation was abruptly launched.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/antiencroachment-drive-970

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  3. Very interesting post!

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