Planet Fashion, retail initiative of Madura Garments has created a niche for themselves in men’s clothing. In an interview, Shoaib Farooqi, COO, Planet Fashion shares the success story of the company and its future plans.
Abha Garyali (AG): Brief us about the inception and success of Planet Fashion.
Shoaib Farooqi (SF): Madura Garments envisioned providing world-class shopping experience with a complete range of the best brands in the country under one roof to delight its customers. This led to the opening of a mega menswear showroom in Bangalore in 2001, to be later christened as Planet Fashion. Hence, these retail stores were conceptualised with an objective of upgrading the quality of retailing and offering its customers a world class shopping experience. We have four leading brands of the country under one roof: Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, and Peter England. Planet Fashion stands as a one-stop solution for all the apparel needs of men. We are currently present in 60 towns across India and abroad, with 100 stores.
AG: How is Planet Fashion different from other apparel companies? What is its USP?
SF: At Planet Fashion we try to give the customer the best shopping experience. Our USP is our location and offering mix. We cater to all the wardrobe needs of men, across all occasions and all price points.
AG: What are the various brands in the portfolio of Planet Fashion?
SF: Currently, we have our in house brands like Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England in our stores. Also, in selected stores, we have Levi’s, Monte Carlo, Jockey and Manyavar.
AG: When and where did the company initiate franchising?
SF: The company initiated franchising in 1980s with Louis Philippe in Cochin.
AG: Do you think that franchising has played an important role in the success of the company? How it has done so?
SF: Yes, franchising has certainly played an important part in our success. Franchisees, when involved in the business become owners of the business. They understand local needs better. In a highly competitive environment, customer service and relationship with the consumer are keys to success, and franchisee plays an important role in this.
AG: How many franchises does Planet Fashion have and in which cities?
SF: Almost 80 per cent of our stores are franchisee owned. We have franchised stores in Bhatinda, Moradabad, Bengaluru, Trichi, Shillong, Udupi, Tirupur, Salem, and Belgaum. Some of our franchisees are looking forward to opening a second store also, within six months of opening of their first store.
AG: What are the eligibility criteria to be a Planet Fashion franchisees? What is the investment requirement?
SF: We expect our business partners to share the same passion and commitment for this industry as we do. We require an investment of Rs 65-90 lakh and a property at a prime location, with a good frontage. If the partner does not have property, but is still keen to invest, we extend suitable support.
AG: What are your future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?
SF: We want to increase our presence from current 60 towns to 100 towns in the next two years. Therefore, all tier II and III cities are our target markets. However, at the same time, we are expanding our presence in metros and mini metros as well.
AG: What training and support do you provide to your franchisees?
SF: We offer training and support to our franchisees from merchandise selection to staff training. We also hold a franchisee meet once in two years where we call our partners from all across the country and the Planet Fashion team addresses and interacts on relevant issues.