Premium apparel brand Allen Solly plans to extend its “Friday dressing” concept through the launch of its footwear range by the end of this month. It is also planning to introduce a kidswear range soon.

Friday Dressing, introduced in 1993, tries to break the ‘black, white and grey’ formal wear monotony through offerings in bold colours and fabric. Typically, corporate offices in the US and Canada introduced ‘Casual Fridays’ in the late 90s and early 2000s, where managers were allowed to dress in semi-formals.

“The premium men’s only footwear range is likely to be in stores by November this year,” Sooraj Bhat, Brand Head, Allen Solly, told Business Line. Footwear will be priced between Rs 3,300 and Rs 4,500.

According to Bhat, offerings include a “crossover line” – in-line with the Friday Dressing concept – with a mix of semi-formal and casual leather and suede shoes that can be worn to work.

Production for the footwear range will be partly outsourced while some will be manufactured by the company.

Allen Solly is also eyeing a possible foray in the kidswear segment. Currently, the brand has introduced its offerings in select geographies only. “We are in the test phase for the kidswear segment,” Bhat said, without divulging details.

Kidswear accounts for nearly 2 per cent of the brand’s annual turnover of Rs 500 crore that it reported last fiscal.

Rebranding

Following a re-branding exercise earlier this year, Allen Solly has introduced a new logo and an emblem - a stag (male deer). Re-branding was by New York-based design house Graj+Gustaven.

Store revamp will cost the company nearly Rs 38 lakh per 1,500 sq ft. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest store revamping is likely to cost the brand over Rs 20 crore across 45 outlets.

It plans to have 170 standalone outlets by end of this year, of which 45 will be revamped. Eight have already been revamped till September (2012).

Around 100 remaining stores will be revamped over a period of time, Bhat adds.

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 16, 2012)
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