This bus in Chennai brings fashion to your doorstep with its boutique on wheels – The Hindu

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This boutique on wheels covers almost 30 kilometres everyday | Photo Credit: VELANKANNI RAJ
At, fashion is never stationary. Because it is on wheels. The boutique on wheels recently re-launched in Chennai. “We had started this venture during last Deepavali. But after that it wasn’t in operation for seven months as I was busy with other commitments,” says Karthick Gunabalan, who started Pikbig. Before making its entry into Chennai, this bus was a popular feature in Nagercoil, Karthick’s hometown.
While online shopping has been delivering outfits and accessories to the doorstep of consumers, Pikbig makes it possible for them to touch and feel the product, try it out and buy it. “We started with the idea of catering to people who do not like to step into malls,” he says. The boutique offers a collection of ethic and Indo-western clothes for women. There are saris, kurtis, anarkalis, leggings, t-shirts, sourced from designers and brands across the country. Our procurement team has fashion designers who keep an eye on trends and on what to showcase, he adds.
Pikbig started operations in Chennai in time for Deepavali again this year and it has been rolling ever since. From independent bungalows to gated communities, the bus goes everywhere, across the city. “All we need is a wide road,”says Karthick.
Gated communities and apartments work well for Karthick as he gets many customers at the same time. “Few apartments have a fixed schedule with us. We take our collections to them on the 1st of every month,” says Karthick. Pikbik started off with 10-15 apartments and as of now has 35 apartments on their list, especially from Perambur, Sholinganallur, and OMR.
The bus runs daily, but prior appointments need to be fixed. The route is then charted accordingly. The bus covers 30 kilometres in a day. On a few occasions, curious passers-by have stopped the bus and got in to shop.
Before being turned into a boutique, this bus was a mobile ATM. It measures 21 feet by 7 feet and also features a trial room. “We spent close to 15 lakh to remodel it and do the interiors. It usually takes three to four months t o complete this but in our case it took nearly seven months because we had to wait for funds,” he adds.  
Karthick spent a month travelling in the bus to understand consumer behaviour and what type of garments and styles they were looking for. Pleased with the response, he plans to expand and start similar boutique on wheels in all districts of Tamil Nadu.
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Chennai / The Hindu MetroPlus / fashion / City & Neighbourhood / shopping
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