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NEW DELHI : With the launch of its latest flagship store at Mumbai's Jio World Drive, British fashion apparel Superdry has touched the 50-store mark in India in less than 10 years of being here.

The brand entered India in 2012 through a franchise partnership with Reliance Brands Ltd. In an interview, group vice president, Reliance Brands, Manu Sharma said the brand benefited from selling directly to customers as offline retail had been slow owing to the pandemic. Edited Excerpts:

Offline retail has been severely hit by covid-19 pandemic in the last 18 months. How has the business been for Superdry?

Superdry is trending at a much greater rate compared to the same period in 2019. The recovery based on the mall footfall has been extremely slow, but through the various channels of sales and tools like distant selling (Zoom calls, appointments, digital catalogue, etc), the brand has tried to make up for the lost time and revenue. But we do think touch-and-feel is still very important to the retail business.

People have started stepping out now and the festive cheer is in the air, sales conversions are at an all-time high right now. The consumer is going to the mall with a bigger intent of purchase and increased spending capacity to avoid frequent visits and exposure.

What are the expansion plans for the next two years?

With the last one and a half years lost to the pandemic, we have learnt that through e-commerce, we can reach the last mile; we can serve the consumer sitting at the remotest of locations having affinity to the brand.

Our digital commerce channels are growing at 6x compared to our historical numbers but we believe that India continues to be extremely underserviced in terms of retail locations and we are looking at expanding the brand by opening at least 10 stores a year for the next two to three years.

What are your sales numbers in India?

In India, Superdry has been growing at a CAGR of 30-35% year-on-year. We are practically doubling our turnover every three years.

Fast fashion often comes with substantial damage to the environment. Has your brand outlook changed towards more conscious collections?

We have worked hard to make our product more environmentally conscious. We are driving two projects on these lines -- the pledge to be a 100% organic brand in the next three to four years. The second is to try and empower farmers in India and source organic cotton from them. We plan to use India-made organic cotton for the global line too, which will be exported to 165 countries.


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