AVVA has adopted an ambitious outlook since its establishment in 2000 and it continues to be an acclaimed Turkish brand in the world of fashion with its original designs and quality approach. Here, RLI speaks with Volkan Atik, Chairman of AVVA about the company’s expansion plans as they continue moving forward.
In the last 21 years, AVVA has brought a new understanding to men’s clothing and created a different fashion language for the stylish, modern man with its young, sophisticated, current and original product lines.
The business has in operation 128 concept stores in 21 countries. The vast majority, 86, of these are in Turkey whilst other locations are situated in the Middle East, North Africa, the Turkic countries and Europe.
“We also operate franchise operations in 21 countries and we consider these stores equal to our own and manage them in the same way,” explains Volkan Atik, Chairman of AVVA. “Our partners keep us informed about all conditions in their region and provide us daily information flow on all our franchised stores.”
Atik is estimating that they will experience the effects and fallout of Covid until the next fall/winter season. To account for this, they have managed their order planning and production accordingly whilst keeping in mind that this is a temporary situation that will change again in the years to come.
Covid-19 has of course had a profound effect on store operation, and new regulations and measures have been taken by the business for stores in each different country according to the rules. For example, they have re-planned the working hours and number of staff in many stores whilst also incorporating a new shopping experience that is in-line with Covid-19 hygiene rules. This new design includes precautions like disinfection procedures when in-store, limitation on in-store customers, distance and contactless payments and staff dress code among others.
Despite the new challenges this year, AVVA has continued with its development and expansion plan, with a new site launching in Tajikistan in September and four further store openings taking place in Uzbekistan throughout the year.
“In the short term, instead of entering new markets our focus is on developing new sales channels and business models in the regions we already operate. We have a successful e-commerce operation in the Turkish market and we want to implement this structure in other regions,” says Atik.
Having grown rapidly in the last two decades, they have achieved this through closely following global trends and consumer expectations for fashion and retail and then bringing these trends together with information gathered on local consumer behaviour and demands. They strongly believe in product innovation and invest specifically on certain lines, such as their AVVA light jacket collection and AVVA sports line.
As the interview moves onto the topic of social media, Atik explains that the medium can provide a wealth of information about customers that the brand could not acquire through traditional media. He feels it is a great channel to track customer insights and future demands because it gives the opportunity for a two-way interaction with their customers.
“We are aware that we need to use social media platforms in the most effective way, therefore we are planning to invest in these platforms. Retail is fast and it is crucial to catch the real time communication opportunities by maintaining the content quality and creating a unique tone of voice for the brand on these channels.”
When discussing what it is that keeps customers loyal to AVVA and what makes the company stand out from the competition, Atik reveals that he believes the success of the brand comes from managing three essential functions in the right balance, the design, the product quality and the pricing. They always focus on how they can do it better and while they do have loyal customers, they never allow themselves to fall into a comfort zone and take this loyalty for granted.
“We try to understand their needs and insights and we take quick actions to always achieve better. CRM management is the key to analyse and take the right actions; we attach great importance to integrated CRM data management and customer satisfaction and that brings loyalty,” comments Atik.
AVVA was the first brand to embrace the smart casual concept in menswear category in Turkey and this has shaped the positioning of AVVA in the Turkish market. “Design in the brand’s greatest strength and we try to be pioneers when it comes to design and innovation,” says Atik.
When looking ahead at the challenges facing the company, Atik feels that the challenge for all industries is the economic uncertainties that the whole world is experiencing at the same time. “Covid has changed retail dynamics since the pandemic begun and it has also caused permanent changes for retail business. However at AVVA, we take actions to be ready for all these transformations that are taking place and we will maintain our growth strategy and franchising investments abroad. Moreover, our store openings and new franchise agreements continue without slowing down,” Atik concludes.