American brand Ed Hardy targets Rs500 crore revenue in five years in India
New Delhi: For American premium apparel and accessories brand Ed Hardy, the second innings in India seems to be playing out well. Founded by US tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy, it has made a successful comeback and is planning its next phase of expansion to become a Rs500-crore brand by 2022, said a top executive at Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd, the current licensing partner of Iconix Lifestyle India Pvt. Ltd.
Iconix Lifestyle is a joint venture between US-based Iconix Group (which owns Ed Hardy) and Reliance Brands, a part of Reliance Industries Ltd.
“It is a very strong comeback story. We have not just repositioned the brand but also made it very strong and profitable in the market,” said Alok Dubey, chief executive officer, lifestyle brands at Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd, which sells foreign labels like Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, GAP and Aeropostale.
The company also has a partnership with the French multi-brand cosmetics retailer Sephora and America’s largest speciality retailer of children’s apparel and accessories The Children’s Place.
Ed Hardy was first launched in 2007 by Mumbai-based Wadhawan Lifestyle, but “due to exorbitant prices and a completely imports-based model, it didn’t work out. After we inked our licensing deal with Iconix, we almost halved the prices and started producing and designing in India,” said Dubey.
Priced between Rs1,000 and Rs5,000 (down from Rs3,000-Rs10,000), Ed Hardy recorded a revenue of Rs70 crore in 2016-17 and is expected to be a Rs100 crore brand this year.
By 2022, “Ed Hardy will be a Rs500-crore brand. It is very profitable and is a big bet for us,” said Dubey.
The brand primarily targets young men. Men’s segment contributes 90% to the overall revenue of Ed Hardy, while women and kids account for the remaining 10%. “Design philosophy is very centric to Ed Hardy which caters to bikers and young art lovers and we have kept that philosophy intact,” Dubey added.
Ed Hardy is currently sold at 20 exclusive stores (largely in the metros), 75 departmental stores and more than 100 multi-brand outlets. Going forward, the company is planning to add 15-20 exclusive stores, on an average, every year. Arvind also sells Ed Hardy products online at Amazon, Myntra and its own online platform NNNow.com—all of which contribute 15% to the overall revenue of Ed Hardy.
“Ed Hardy has learnings to show. There is a demand in India for a brand like Ed Hardy and there is a scope for it to become a Rs500-crore brand. The point is that the pricing of a global brand in India should be in line with the pricing globally. It should not out-price itself in India. That’s the key for global brands to succeed here, which applies to Ed Hardy as well. Secondly, Arvind gives a lot of inter-partner advantage to the brand,” said Ankur Bisen, senior vice-president, retail and consumer at retail consultancy Technopak Advisors.
Bisen added that the challenge here is to make the brand accessible and available to meet the increasing demand. “The market is getting crowded. The challenge is to stand out in terms of strategy,” he said.
The Indian fashion and lifestyle market is expected to touch Rs3,94,000 crore over the next five years, according to a 2016 survey by consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The market was valued at Rs2,21,000 crore in 2016, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 12%.