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Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003

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Raymond to retail ColorPlus in 65 stores

Boby Kurian


RAYMOND has started integrating the acquired brand, ColorPlus, into its retail network. Raymond, which operates a chain of 275 showrooms across the country, will take the brand to about 65 select stores by this year-end.

Top Raymond officials said the roll out of ColorPlus in Raymond stores was under way with the brand already present in eight outlets. It was expected to touch 20 stores by this month end. "The integration is moving as planned and we are taking ColorPlus to more Raymond stores every month. Over the next nine to 10 months, our plan is to take ColorPlus to roughly 65 stores," the officials said. The 10-year-old ColorPlus brand on its own is present in more than 150 stores in India, Sri Lanka and West Asia.

The Rs 1,000-crore Raymond Ltd acquired 74 per cent stake in the Chennai-based ColorPlus Fashions Pvt Ltd last year to strengthen its position in the premium branded apparel market. The textile major Raymond's branded apparel business is pegged at around Rs 180 crore.

Raymond belied speculation that the entry of ColorPlus would compromise the retail space of its existing men's wear labels - Park Avenue, Parx and Manzoni. "We are taking ColorPlus to Raymond stores not at the cost of our brands. ColorPlus will be integrated through design architectural changes in the stores," the officials said. Park Avenue, a value-for-money formal brand, is the largest name in the country's apparel market in terms of turnover. Parx is positioned as value-for-money casual wear, while Manzoni is marketed as premium formal brand. ColorPlus will take space in Raymond stores as the company's premium offering in the casual wear segment.

Raymond follows Madura Garments and Arvind Brands as the third largest player in the domestic apparel market. The company is credited with a robust distribution network led by the 275 flagship Raymond stores. Armed with liquidity, Raymond has been on the prowl to chart growth through acquisitions. "We are on the look out for takeover opportunities," the company sources said.

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