New Delhi: Mumbai-based retailer Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) that recently acquired the Jaypore brand and bought a majority stake in designer wear label Shantanu & Nikhil is set to expand the two brands by adding stand-alone stores over the next few months, said a top official at the company.
The move will help ABFRL that largely operates men and women's formals and western wear brands such as Louis Philippe, and Van Heusen gain more heft in the country's large ethnic wear market.
“Jaypore, as brand, has a strong online equity but its distribution is very limited and therefore since we are strong player in the offline market we will be able to build that equity to a much larger set of consumers. At the first stage we will look at 5-8 stores in the next 6 to 12 months, said Ashish Dikshit, managing director, ABFRL, adding that potentially the brand could be a much larger opportunity.
Last month ABFRL, which also sells under the brand Peter England, acquired a 51% stake in Finesse International Design that retails bespoke ceremonial wear and contemporary apparel for men and women under the Shantanu and Nikhil brand for ₹60 crore. The deal was preceded by the retailer’s acquisition of ethnic apparel and lifestyle retailer Jaypore for ₹110 crore in the month of May.
Both brands are expected to help ABFRL expand its reach in the country’s growing ethnic wear market where it has a limited presence as it largely sells men’s and women’s formal wear through its existing brands. Its fashion departmental store chain Pantaloons, on the other hand, sells women’s ethnic wear but largely mass market brands.
“If you look at our portfolio we have a fairly strong presence in the men’s side of the business-both formals and casuals, same for women," said Dikshit. While both of them are growing strongly Dikshit added that in the overall women’s market—as a portfolio ABFRL lacks the ethnic play.
With Jaypore that currently has two stores and largely sells women’s clothing and accessories online, Dikshit said the brand “will be our entry into the premium ethnic side of the market –which is something we are missing in our portfolio. We do sell a lot of ethnic wear at the lower end of the market through Pantaloons but this will help us create a presence in the much faster growing premium women’s side."
Going forward the company is working on launching a more affordable range of clothing under the Shantanu & Nikhil brand that currently sells more pricey clothing. Dikshit said that India’s formal men’s wear market is largely unorganised, giving the retailer the opportunity to set a more accessible fashion line.
Dikshit added that the company is working with the brand to launch a prêt line which will be more accessible and scalable and can travel to many more markets. It will also have a wider distribution in offline markets. “Over the next six to 12 months we will take the prêt lines into a few markets and see the scalability of the brand."