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Business News/ Companies / News/  Retail blitz: Ace Turtle to target tier 2-3 cities with 100 new stores in FY25
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Retail blitz: Ace Turtle to target tier 2-3 cities with 100 new stores in FY25

The company aims for long-term growth by expanding its portfolio of global brands comprising Lee, Wrangler, and Toys“R”Us.

Ace Turtle will work with local franchise partners to open these stores. Its portfolio of brands already operate over 110 stores in the country.Premium
Ace Turtle will work with local franchise partners to open these stores. Its portfolio of brands already operate over 110 stores in the country.

New Delhi: Ace Turtle, the exclusive licensee for Lee, Wrangler, Dockers, Toys“R"Us, and Babies“R"Us in India, plans to open 100 new stores this fiscal year, defying a broader slowdown in the apparel market.

As the company seeks to tap under-penetrated marjets, the expansion will target tier-2 and 3 cities. The new outlets will be operated by franchise partners.

“We are going to expand because we're not here for the short run. We are targeting 100 stores again next year. We are going to add 50 stores for Lee and 50 for Wrangler. For Toys“R"Us, we will have 12 stores by December," said Nitin Chhabra, chief executive, Ace Turtle. 

The company is vertically integrated, handling design, local manufacturing, and marketing to reach consumers directly. Over time, it has acquired the rights to sell and market global brands in India.

Last year, Ace Turtle had raised $34 million ( 293 Crore) in a Series B funding led by Vertex Growth, SBI Investment Co. Ltd, Farglory, Lesing Nine, Stride Ventures, Tuscan Ventures and Trifecta Capital. Existing investors Vertex Southeast Asia and India, and InnoVen Capital also participated in the round.

Its portfolio of brands is available in over 110 stores in the country. “We will open a few flagship stores in large metros, but in tier-2 markets we are still under-penetrated and will focus on these markets," Chhabra added.

India’s apparel and footwear market is estimated to reach $160 billion by 2030 from $75 billion in 2022, according to Deloitte. Homegrown firms, including Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, Arvind Fashion, and Reliance Retail, have been consolidating their positions in the branded apparel and footwear market to leverage the growing appetite for lifestyle goods among Indians.

“While the e-commerce adoption was initially limited to metros and tier 1 cities, retailers have gradually realized the potential in smaller towns and villages. Consequently, they have increased their focus on targeting this demographic by leveraging digital platforms," said Pakhi Saxena, head of retail and consumer products at Wazir Advisors. 

"The covid-19 pandemic has made consumers in tier 2 towns more comfortable with online shopping and payment methods, resulting in increased sales through online channels," she added. 

However, the apparel market will remain sluggish for the next 12 month as shoppers continue to prioritize spending on experiences over products Chhabra said. “It has not been a great year for fashion. So, what seems to be happening across the globe, and in India, is that the share of wallet this year seems to have clearly moved in the favour of travel and beauty. The pressure on non-beauty retail will stay for one more year."

Ace Turtle will continue to expand its portfolio, adding three new brands over three years. "These will be brands in the fashion and lifestyle space targeting middle-income households, as well as the aspirational class," he said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Published: 01 Apr 2024, 06:22 PM IST
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