With marquee brand Calvin Klein in its stable, Arvind Brands and Retail plans to expand its denim portfolio in the premium category.

‘CK’, one of the world’s most recognisable lifestyle brands, will fuel the Sanjay Lalbhai-controlled enterprise’s strategy to move from the mid-segment to the premium category.

For Philip Van-Heusen Corp, which owns the Calvin Klein brand, the tie-up with Arvind will offer a strategic advantage to push the label in the Asian market.

PVH Corp, which also owns Tommy Hilfiger, a brand licenced by Arvind, is understood to have garnered $100 million from its Indian operations.

The denim market in India is estimated to be worth ₹6,500 crore.

According to a Technopak report, the category is set to double to ₹13,000 crore by 2017.

The unbranded segment accounts for 58 per cent of the market. In 2012, the mid-to-premium market accounted for 15 per cent of the market, and luxury, 16 per cent.

The market is dominated by international brands such as Levi’s, Pepe Jeans and Wrangler.

International brands such as Mango, Zara and Marks & Spencer have introduced denim jeans at the entry level to attract first-time consumers.

Calvin Klein will compete with brands such as Mustang and Guess.

Strong potential

Arvind Singhal, Chairman of retail consultancy firm Technopak, notes that Calvin Klein has strong potential in India.

“CK has huge brand recall, and the right kind of investment will spur growth.

Arvind is already into the denim category. Calvin Klein will add to the premium positioning”.

Arvind has licenced other international brands such as Arrow, Lee, Wrangler and Tommy Hilfiger and sells them through its nationwide retail network.

It also owns Megamart, India’s largest value retail chain.

The challenge

“For Arvind, denims are still a strong category and Calvin Klein will add to a strong portfolio. The brand has a distribution network in place and Arvind’s challenge will be scalability.

“We assume that the expansion will be through a combination of ecommerce and standalone stores,” said Abhay Gupta, CEO of Luxury Connect, a marketing agency for luxury brands.

(This article was published on March 24, 2014)
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