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Sep, 01 2006

Raymond forays into childrenswear segment

Raymond Apparel Ltd, one of the pioneers in menswear in India, entered the children\'s apparel segment with its brand \'Zapp\' and opened its first kids\' theme store in the country at Ahmedabad.

The company plans to set up 10 more similar stores across India. It made an investment of Rs 50 lakh for the 2,400 sq.ft retail space on CG Road in Ahmedabad. The next store will open in Pune within a month. Zapp is India's first focused kid brand. The children's apparel segment, though largely an unorganised market, is worth about Rs 25,000 crore, growing at an annual rate of 25 per cent.

In addition to a full range of apparels for the age-groups of 4 to 12, Zapp includes kids' accessories like bags and footwear. It's a complete fun-shopping experience for the children. The products are designed and manufactured in-house by a group of young fashion designers who constantly keep a track of international fashion forecasts and design trends. Zapp has also acquired an exclusive license on the Superman logo in India. If one wants to buy genuine Warner Bros Superman apparels and accessories, one has to come to Zapp.

To build a loyal customer-base, the company has launched a Zapp Club for kids as part of its intense customer-relationship management programme. Moreover, an exclusive website for the brand will provide options like gaming, painting and designing on the web, writing blogs and even discussing social issues.

The Zapp Club will be an aspirational 'tribe'. A member will get a Zapp bandana, a tattoo and a special Zapp ring amongst other benefits.

Shopping in four categories Lifestyle to add 42 stores

Lifestyle International, a part of the Dubai-based $500-million retail major Landmark Group, has chalked out plans to open 32 stores and 10 'home centres' throughout India in the next three years with an estimated investment of Rs 450 crore.

Each store will require an investment of Rs 10 to 12 crore and will be spread over 20,000 to 40,000 sq.ft. The company plans to open four stores this year. Lifestyle is also looking at expanding the network of home improvement stores by setting up 10 'home centres' by 2008 with an investment of Rs 6 to 8 crore. The stores will be in Pune, Jaipur, Noida, and Mumbai, with presence also in cities like Cochin, Coimbatore, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Kanpur, Surat and Calcutta in the next three years.

Conceptualised by Italian designers, Lifestyle stores offer customers the option of shopping in four categories under a single roof apparel, footwear and travel accessories, infant wear, and cosmetics and perfumes.

Having begun operations in 1998, Lifestyle already has 10 stores spread across six cities Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Gurgaon. The company had a turnover of Rs 340 crore last year and plans to increase it to Rs 580 to 600 crore this year.

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