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A trunkload of surprises

Designers eye trunk shows to enhance sales, create brand awareness and gather more footfalls. Here's an insight into what a trunk show is and its offerings...

It is usual for five-star hotels to witness large footfalls on weekends. Seldom do visitors come there to shop. But a five-star hotel in Delhi recently became a hub for shoppers as it hosted a trunk show. The hotel provided shoppers a platform to purchase apparels, food, cosmetics, jewellery, watches, shoes, home décor items and other accessories, among other items, under one roof. That's the magic of trunk shows.

These shows allow shoppers to purchase products without causing them hassle to travel to different cities to shop.

Though ‘trunk show’ sounds like taking out items from trunk, its meaning cannot be taken literally. A high fashion trunk show includes what's curated or is in vogue like a sample piece. Anubhav Bhasin, who has been hosting the S&S Trunk Shows, explained the concept as small, curated exhibitions.

“At a trunk show, shoppers can purchase several designer products. It minimises buyers' time and efforts as well as offers variety, as everything is available under one roof,” he says.

Trunk shows allow shoppers to personally connect with the brands. For people, it's more about staying personally connected with the brand, touching and feeling the outfit and purchasing outfits that they feel comfortable in. Agrees Dipalli Sarin Bhasiin, who has organised trunk shows.

"When we organise a trunk show, we cater to women in their 40s and 50s. It's the age group that likes to touch and feel everything they buy because comfort is the key for them. Trunk shows allow buyers to interact with the brands directly, offering them satisfaction and value for money," she adds.

Any brand, irrespective of its presence, be it online or offline, and base (city-based or Pan-India) can participate in a trunk show. Many small and medium designers eye such shows as they help generate maximum footfalls.

Sherry Kathuria, Founder, Amulets, an online jewellery brand, considers participating in a trunk show as a sales enhancement tool. Calling these shows a game-changer, she says, “Trunk shows have always helped us in generating sales. Thanks to digital marketing, the word-of-mouth spreads easily. We get more footfalls and repeated buying.”

But it's not the participation alone that turns out to be fruitful. Kathuria shares that brands also leave no stone unturned for buyers. "Brands also prepare for a trunk show well in advance. We, for instance, offer something for everyone. A part of our collection is dedicated to new launches that we bring out every time we participate in a trunk show," she adds.

Some brands also eye such shows to create brand awareness. Shivam Gupta, founder of Delhi-based online sustainable brand ‘Loudless’, faced the aftermath of the pandemic so badly that he was forced to delay the launch of his brand. Gupta feels that his brand’s participation in trunk show would help him make Loudless visible among masses.

“I think this show would create brand awareness as people will be able to see our designs and the intricate work that goes in their designing. The response, so far, has been good,” he says.

Buyers at a stall selling a range of decorative items.

Planning a trunk show

Every trunk show features a range of designers as sellers. The work for hosting a trunk show starts months ahead of the d-day. Designers are chosen based on a theme or the category that the host caters to address.

Months ahead of the show, a host invites applications from sellers based upon a list of pre-requisites that may vary in terms of category, products or brand sales. Products are normally segmented under three categories, namely, luxury, affordable or affordable luxury. Each category varies in terms of price.

"Brands are shortlisted based on their products and the segment they cater to. We also invite brands that are present pan-India to allow buyers to shop easily across the length and breadth of the country without being physically going to different cities," shares Bhasiin.

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