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Mahindra Retail has introduced American children's clothing, gifts and accessories brand Carter's in India while planning to expand BabyOye stores through franchising.
Prakash Wakankar, CEO, Mahindra Retail shares the journey so far with The Franchising World and the plans ahead.
Is it a joint venture between Mahindra Retail and Carter's?
It's not a joint venture. At the moment this is a buy and sell arrangement. We have structured it as partnership model. We are doing things in a manner true to the Carter's experience in the world which means it's not about buying X number containers and selling wherever and however we want. They would be sold through the same fixture figments that are there in any Carter's store in the world. Hence, Carter's will have significant contribution to the overall growth story of Mahindra Retail.
What about product portfolio, target age group and pricing?
Carter's will offer a range of baby essentials, gifts and sleepwear along with easy outfit sets and fashion collections in colorful prints and cute characters. In the store, for 0 to 7 months old infants there will be spring summer 2016 collection. We are focused on sweet spot which is 0-2 years old. Beyond two years the product is available both on BabyOye.com as well as our mobile app. Also we have created a special microsite for Carter's to remain true to the Carter's brand and to provide variety that's possible. The price range of these products starts from Rs 600 to Rs 2500.
Is the brand looking at opening EBOs for the wider consumer experience?
In a year or so Carter's would like to have four wall store (EBO) and that's something which would evolve with this relationship. Apparently these stores will necessary be in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
What are your expansion plans ahead?
In this fiscal, we have added about 25 stores. Between now and March we will add another 15 stores, so by the end of this fiscal we will have no less than 125 stores. Presently we have 110 stores in 52 cities. We have 32 franchise stores and the rest are company owned. The ratio will continue to move pretty much in the same proportion though we might see early rise in franchise stores. By the end of 2016 we will have around 50 franchise stores.
We have opened our first international store in Mauritius on franchise basis. Henceforth we are exploring opportunities for Middle-East, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh and one day we will go to Pakistan too. Also we have revamped the website, launched the mobile app and have added products online, many of which will not be available in the store.
What is a present turnover of BabyOye and what is the target that you are looking forward?
Last year our target was to reach Rs 250 crore of revenue and we are going to hit Rs 220 crore this year.