Bengaluru: Watches and accessories firm Titan Co. Ltd has opened its first handloom apparel store in Bengaluru’s upscale Indiranagar, marking its entry into the womens wear segment.
Targeted mostly at the young urban woman looking for traditional Indian weaves fused with contemporary designs or colours, Titan’s 6,000 sq ft handloom store—called Taneira opened on Saturday by managing director Bhaskar Bhat. It is expected to remain in pilot mode for a year.
The company reached out to close to 200 different sources of weaves from across the country over 15 months before launching the store. Over the course of a year, it will open a few more pilot stores across the country.
Its next pilot store will be opened in a month at Jayanagar, a south Bengaluru shopping hub. It also plans to conduct exhibitions across the country in places like five-star hotels.
“Titan has always been exploring new categories. This is yet another exploration into a new category. We have a large number of women customers, both in jewellery and watches through Raaga. So it’s a similar woman consumer we are targeting,” said Ajoy Chawla, the company’s senior vice president of strategy and business incubation.
Roughly 40-45% of the company’s customers in the watches and eyewear category are women and that ratio increases to almost 95% in jewellery, said Chawla. On a weighted average basis, around 65-70% of Titan’s overall customer base comprises of women.
Taneira comes from the ‘tan’ in Titan and its primary jewellery brand Tanishq, and fused with ‘Ira,’ which is a name for the Hindu goddess Saraswathi.
The Indiranagar store currently has around 3,500 pieces of clothing including sarees, lehengas, stoles, dupattas and yardages from 20 states in a remodelled villa. The kind of weaves ranges from south Indian kanjeevarams to ikats from Gujarat and Assamese mugas to heirloom patan patolas and jamdhanis.
“Taneira aims to give a differentiated retail experience to its customers, a place where they can touch and feel the purity of the fabric and the craftsmanship,” said Shyamala Ramanan, business head of the new handloom segment at Titan.
Catering to the mid-premium to premium end of the market, the starting price for sarees sold under the Taneira brand is about Rs2,000, with the higher-end heirloom sarees costing over Rs2 lakh.
“We’ll have to create a distribution for it. We will not sell it through our existing stores. Competition is there. It is an unorganised category and there are many, many players. Our competitive advantage lies in the fact that we will be able to provide authenticity in materials, handwork, craftsmanship and bring in design as a big differentiator,” said Chawla.