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Vivek Choudhary of The Raymond Shop, Rashbehari Avenue, Kolkata, talks about his 25-year-old journey as a franchisee of Raymond
Why did you choose Raymond?
Raymond is a veritable leviathan when it comes to brand equity in India. It is the first Indian brand to foray into ready-to-wear, with suiting and shirting. We always wanted a prominent brand in the South Kolkata market, which was missing a few decades ago.
How franchising is helping you?
Being a franchisee of Raymond is a matter of pride for us and it is not just a franchisee-franchisor relation that we have, it is more like a big Raymond family. Raymond as a brand has been a trendsetter than a trend follower, therefore being a franchisee, it helps us to stay one step ahead of the competition, it is amazing to see that the way Raymond has transformed from being an old man’s brand to be a brand of all ages in tune with the times.
Do the location matters for a store?
In the late-80s when Raymond was building up its franchise network, there were a couple of stores in the North Kolkata, but none in the southern region, sensing a huge opportunity for menswear solution in this region, South Kolkata was a natural choice.
How frequent you get training?
There are complete trainings to brief the floor staff prior to the beginning of every season, and sessions for the tailoring network takes place throughout the year to keep them abreast of the upcoming trends and patterns.
How is the franchise model apt for local patrons?
The success of Raymond lies in its franchising model. I believe we are the ears and the eyes of Raymond at the local level; every region has its own particular taste and sense of fashion. Being a local franchisee, we know the demand of the region and sell what’s preferred by the consumers.
How is customized tailoring creating a difference?
With the changing trends, everything is getting instant, especially the dominance of readymade clothes, custom tailoring has its own niche market. Shopping for clothes in a brick-and-mortar store allows the consumer to touch and feel the products. Ordering the item, custom tailored is the answer for bespoke