Post Star's exit, Star CJ Alive re-brands as Shop CJ

MUMBAI: A year after Star India opted out from the 24/7 home shopping channel Star CJ Alive, which was a joint venture between Star India and South Korean home shopping major CJ O Shopping, the channel's name and logo has been changed to Shop CJ. 

This marks the culmination of a year long exercise where in Star phased itself out of the alliance to focus on its core expertise of general entertainment channels (GEC) and sports offerings. As per the deal, despite Star’s phasing out, it was mandatory to keep Star's branding in the logo for a year. Providence Equity Partners has replaced Star in the venture. On 16 April, 2015 besides renaming the channel to Shop CJ, the venture also launched a new tagline, ‘Shop a new trend.’

The home shopping venture, which already has presence on television and Internet, has further expanded itself and entered the fast growing mobile market with Shop CJ mobile app. Currently the channel is available on various DTH platforms like Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel, and Videocon and major cable operators.

“The re-branding initiative is to better align the company’s new philosophy with the future strategy. It plans to further improve the backend service in order to serve customers quickly and effectively. Plans are also there to get new innovative categories on board and change entire home shopping perspective and experience. The CJ group is globally known for its product quality and innovation. Our experience of various countries will prove to be useful to serve Indian consumers with world class product experience,” says Shop CJ Network CEO Kenny Shin.

On Star’s phase out and its impact on the brand, Shin tells, “We are happy to have Providence Equity as our partners as they have experience of home shopping business. They run similar business in Germany and understand the philosophy of the adventure. When it comes to Star’s phase out, we've known it since a year and hence we have drawn out our strategic plans accordingly. Going forward our prime focus is to expand ourselves, reach more houses and satisfy more customers.” 

Shop CJ CFO N. Ramakrishnan adds, “We will be expanding our presence in east and north-east through physical warehouses. The company is also investing to improve warehouse management system, which will enhance logistics and back end services.”

The company has launched its mobile application Shop CJ, which will be available to Android users.

Speaking about the same, Shop CJ marketing head Donald Kwag says, “Tremendous growth in mobile e-commerce industry has encouraged us to offer this service. The rate, at which Indian consumers are adopting shopping on the app, is faster than other countries. We want our consumers to shop exactly as per their convenience.”

The Indian home shopping market is pegged at $525 million and has an annual growth rate of 40 per cent, which makes it a lucrative business space. Recently entrepreneur Raj Kundra joined hands with actor Akshay Kumar to launch the home shopping channel Best Deal TV. 

Speaking about the growing competition Kwag says, “Indian consumers are very smart. They understand that celebrities will come, sell the product and go away, but the product will stay with them. So getting celebrities on board won’t work if the product is not good. Hence, our main focus is on getting quality product on board and satisfying customers so that they stay loyal to us for a long period of time.”

The re-branding will be backed by aggressive marketing, which is being handled by Percept. Ramakrishnan says, “Percept will execute our marketing plans. We will be launching a 360 degree campaign with prime focus on Mumbai and Delhi. The first round of TVCs will be out in May and we will follow it strategically.”

“We will keep following the franchisee revenue model, wherein 94 per cent of our revenue comes from television and Internet contributes the remaining six per cent. With the launch of new app, we expect to grow bigger. We have already reached five million customers and we will soon be launching special packages for loyal customers,” Shin concludes.

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