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Apr, 01 2014

Reigning the apparel retail

From organised menswear market in India to further foraying into kidswear and women's wear market, The Arvind Store has lot in store to brag off within-house and global brands in its portfolio.

In an email interaction with Amanpreet Kaur, Kulin Lalbhai, ED, Arvind Ltd, shares his views about emerging as a biggest player in the India's menswear industry and focusing on making its brands successful within the segments they are present in.

Share in detail about The Arvind Store.

Arvind launched its first brand in the 1980s with Flying machine and brought a denim brand to India. It was also the first company to bring an international brand Arrow to the country and open the first exclusive brand outlet. With Megamart, we launched India's first factory outlet concept and with Tommy Hilfiger we brought the first casual designer brand to India. So, Arvind has to its credit changing the retail landscape.  We have 12 international brands in our portfolio some of which are Arrow, US Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Gant, Nautica, Izod, Hanes, Next, Debenhams etc. We also have our own brands like Flying Machine, Excalibur, and Ruggers. We also have retail formats like Megamart and Arvind Store.

What % of market share do you currently have in men's branded apparel and retail category? How much share are you planning to tap in men's apparel industry?

The brands and retail business is now Rs 2,000 crore business for Arvind growing at 35-40 per cent. With our portfolio, we dominate the menswear segment in the country across value, premium and bridge to luxury. We hope to emerge as the largest player in the segment in the coming years.

How has franchising helped you build strong brand network across the country?

We have very large and strong licensing relationships. Across most of our brands a majority of our stores are owned by licensees. We also have master licensees who own and operate a large number of stores across brands. These are mostly buy and sell relationship where franchisees earn a very healthy return on investment. Arvind store has a FOFO (franchisee -owned and operated) and COFO (company-owned and franchisee-operated) model.

How do you ensure quality standards?

Whether it is a company store or a franchisee store, the company looks at all stores in the same light when it comes to customer experience. Arvind provides a lot of assistance to each franchisee in terms of merchandise training, store operating procedures, visual merchandising etc. The idea is that each store should be of a global standard and a true representation of the brand.

We look for franchisees that have the right attitude, a strong customer orientation, a maturity to build long term relationships and a good and stable financial position.

What about kids wear and women's wear?

We are already very strong in kidswear with Tommy kids, Cherokee kids, US Polo kids and Nautica kids. We are also entering the women's segment with brands like Next, Debenhams and Elle.

How many stores are you planning to open by end of 2014?

We have over 950 stores across our brands. Around 200 of these are Megamart, 130 are Arvind store and the rest are spread across our other brands. We intend to open between 200-250 stores annually from here onwards. We look at size, visibility, catchment area, adjacencies and many other metrics. We are targeting cities across the country in both urban centers as well as tier II, III and IV towns.


Franchise facts

Investment: Rs 50 lakh

Area: 1,500 sq.ft

Break-even: First year with a payback in 3-3.5 years

RoI: Upwards of 18%

Year of starting franchise operations: 2010



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