Bangalore has been an innovation hotbed for various retail formats across India over the past 2 decades. Partly due to the adventurous and incredulous bunch of Entrepreneurs the city has produced; but more importantly it is because of the evolving consumption patterns in the city of gardens, once popularly known as a Retirement paradise. Not anymore.
From the most recently launched of cars to mobile phones, the latest in exotic cuisine to new age salons and spas, Bangalore leads by leaps and bounds compared to its southern counterparts, Cochin, Hyderabad and Chennai. The latest addition to the cityscape is the innovative store of William Penn, a chain of retail stores that sell “writing instruments” and a brand which pioneered a format for premium stationery.
The retailer’s flagship store reopened on the 17th July to the much-needed cheer to Bangaloreans at it’s erstwhile location, Koramangala which boasts of the creamy layer of the IT-ITES inhabitants with bunglows which range from Rs. 15 Cr – Rs. 45 Cr. It lives up to its reputation as an exceptional gifting destination with shelves and cases lined with premium stationery, lifestyle accessories, tech products, excellent customer service and of course exclusive fine writing instruments inviting discerning customers, Indian and International.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Nikhil Ranjan, Managing Director, William Penn said “We have come a long way since 2002, when we opened our doors to students and offices in Koramangala. We are excited to reopen the first ever William Penn store with a fresh outlook and over 50 globally renowned brands under one roof. The pandemic pushed everyone to lead a digital life; we look forward to reconnecting with our customers face-to-face and bringing back the simple pleasure of being able to see and hold products while shopping. There is no greater joy than putting pen to paper and experimenting with various ink colours. Walking into this store should be both an indulgence and an intimate experience, and to that end, we are offering our clients the option of personalising their selections with text.”
The newly renovated store has old fan favourites like Sheaffer and Lapis Bard as well as new age premium and luxury stationery including some cutting-edge tech products, thereby appealing to the old and young by age and heart. The handmade, locally crafted pens from artisanal brand, Ranga Pens, proved to be very popular among customers, with many captivated by the beauty and story behind the pens.
The ink wall and personalisation station, perhaps influenced by Apple’s “Genius Bar” at their retail stores worldwide, where customers could get their items personalised while they watched, are two new features that made the reopening well worth the wait. the company, which started its operations in 2002 has an omni-channel sales and distribution model with a stunning website as well as operates over 30 physical stores across India including at Hyderabad and Delhi International Airports and recently inaugurated it’s first international store at Colombo, Sri Lanka. The company employs over 300 people and boats a lineage of over 50 internationally acclaimed and renowned timeless brands such as Sailor, Mont Blanc, Cross, Waterman, Hugo Boss, Caran D’Ache, Pininfarina, Zippo among others.