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Retail 2010-02-17

Re defining style via franchising

Re defining style via franchising

Viavero stands for elegance with an Italian finish. The brand has recently adopted franchise route for a rapid nationwide expansion. In an interview, Deepak Agarwal, Director, Viavero discusses his business plan.

Subhro Prakash Ghosh (SPG): Tell us about Viavero.

Deepak Agarwal (DA): I must say, Viavero, an Italian brand is a brand for the thinking men. The products at Viavero offer distinguished and distinctive look to make a man more elegant and confident. We have structured the merchandise-mix after an insight into the style requirement of the modern and discerning men. We are also getting good response from our customers. All our products are manufactured in Italy.

SPG: Which class of customers does Viavero cater to?

DA: With the products such as apparel, shoes and accessories, Viavero usually caters to the upper middle and the elite classes.

SPG: What is the price range of the products?

DA: The price range of Viavero products depends on the categories. However, shirts at Viavero start at Rs 1,950 and goes up to Rs 2,700, whereas trousers are for Rs 3,000. The minimum price of the shoes starts at Rs 6,000 and ends at Rs 8,500.

SPG: What locations are you presently having the stores at? Tell us about your expansion plan.

DA: Presently, we are running two stores at Select CityWalk in Delhi and Ambience Mall in Gurgaon. Both the stores are company-owned.

We are targeting 8-12 stores to be in full operation by the end of 2010. We want to open three to four stores in Delhi, three to four in Mumbai, two in Bangalore and two in Hyderabad. All these stores will be franchisee-operated. We have a nationwide expansion plan, but right now we are concentrating on these cities.

SPG: Why did you decide to go in for franchise business model?

DA: Franchise business model is one of the best business models to expand rapidly. When a retailer penetrates a new city, franchising can benefit a lot than directly owning or operating the store. A franchisee can understand the taste and demand of the local customers, while a franchisor, in order to do so, needs to invest a huge capital in a research team. A franchisee can also manage his business well.

SPG: What are the area and investment requirements for a franchised Viavero store?

DA: A franchisee would require an area of 500-600 sq. ft. The investment requirement is Rs 42 lakh.

SPG: What kind of advertising promotion do you practice?

DA: We basically focus on lots of PR activities and so we are in all the top magazines. Apart from this, we also do print advertising in leading business and fashion magazines.

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