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Arvind’s kids’ portfolio is currently estimated at Rs200 crore.
Arvind’s kids’ portfolio is currently estimated at Rs200 crore.

Arvind Lifestyle Brands to open exclusive kidswear stores

Arvind Lifestyle Brands is developing kidswear as a separate business vertical in a bid to double its business over the next five years

Textile maker Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd, which sells foreign labels like Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, GAP and Aeropostale, is developing kidswear as a separate business vertical in a bid to double its business over the next five years, a top company executive said.

In the process, the company is planning to open exclusive kidswear outlets which will sell apparel, footwear and accessories from Arvind’s in-house brands, starting with Bengaluru and Delhi. Currently, the company retails kidswear products through standalone brand stores.

“We are looking at kidswear as a holistic business. Kidswear is the fastest growing category and we want to dominate this space. We are developing and reorganizing the vertical with all our brands that have kids’ offerings. There is a lot of opportunity in the segment," said Alok Dubey, chief executive officer, lifestyle brands at Arvind Lifestyle Brands.

Dubey added that the multi-brand kidswear format will be led by three power brands—US Polo Association, The Children’s Place and Flying Machine. “We are still working on our business plan. Over the next five years, we want to double the business to Rs400-500 crore from these top three brands," he said.

Arvind’s kids’ portfolio is currently estimated at Rs200 crore—Rs100 crore of which is US Polo. The company is the India licensing partner of The Children’s Place, America’s largest speciality retailer of children’s apparel and accessories.

With the new offering, Arvind will cater to infants (0-1 years), toddlers (1-3 years) and children (4-14 years). “Through The Children’s Place, we will serve girls’ and infants market, while Flying Machine will cater to young boys. These three brands will lead the stores. Other brands like Nautica and GAP will also be there," Dubey said.

Over the last two years, kidswear industry has seen a lot of brands venturing into the segment .In 2016, Pantaloons, a part of Aditya Birla Fashion Retail Ltd, had ventured into children’s wear and launched Pantaloons Kids. Earlier this year, women’s ethnic wear brand Biba Apparels Ltd also opened standalone stores that exclusively sell children’s apparel. Mahindra Retail, in January 2016, had added children’s clothing, gifts and accessories range of US-based Carter’s Inc. to its chain of BabyOye stores across the country.

So far, kidswear market has remained largely untapped due to the dominance of unorganized and local players in the apparel sector. “The increasing penetration of internet and influence of western style have led to a rise in demand for branded and designer apparel. The advent and rapid rise of digital age has also led to kids becoming increasingly aware of brands and being conscious of their looks and style," said Rajat Wahi, partner (management consulting) at consulting firm Deloitte India.

With brands increasingly looking at kidswear, the industry is expected to touch Rs1,600 billion by 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% between 2016-21.The kidswear market in India was estimated at Rs900-950 billion in 2016, up from Rs790 billion in 2015, according to data from Deloitte India.

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