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  • Writer's picturePalak Goyal

Celebrating Art & Craftsmanship: Inside Swadesh’s Standalone Store Featured in VMSD

Featured in VMSD magazine this month, the article by Olivia Taylor speaks of Reliance Retail's Swadesh brand which has unveiled its first standalone store in Hyderabad, celebrating Indian art and craftsmanship. Spanning 20,000 square feet, the store offers a diverse mix of locally crafted products and features live demonstrations by artisans, blending traditional craftsmanship with modern retail design.

Developed by JGA and FRDC, the store's flexible design will also adapt to upcoming locations in Mumbai and New Delhi, housed in heritage buildings. Future expansions are planned for the U.S. and Europe, highlighting global ambitions for the Swadesh brand.

Swadesh is a retailer dedicated to showcasing Indian products and craftsmanship. With this in mind, Reliance looked across a spectrum of international design firms when it decided to open a standalone Swadesh, according to Ken Nisch, Chairman of JGA (Southfield, Mich.), the consultancy that was selected to work collaboratively with FRDC (Future Research Design Co.; Bangalore) to make this a reality.

“They particularly looked at firms with museum and digital experience, and we started work on this in March 2021,” Nisch says. He adds that as Swadesh is a “real mix of merchandise,” it was important to create a flexible environment, and there was a lot of prototyping of the equipment installed in the Hyderabad store.

With craftsmanship as one of the focuses, a lot of local detailing was incorporated into the fixturing, which works well contrasting the store’s location in a modern shopping center. In the store, there are dedicated demonstration spaces where shoppers can witness the creation process firsthand.

It is also worth noting that while the Hyderabad store is part of a contemporary retail structure, the branches in Delhi and Mumbai will not be. In Delhi, the Swadesh store will be in Connaught Circus, a time-honored piece of colonial architecture in the city center, and in Mumbai, shoppers will head into a building that is an Art Deco piece. It is a testament to the flexibility of the design that it can be realized. Read the full article here

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