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Naidu Hall expanding network under three sub-brands

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A view of a Naidu Hall outfit in Chennai
A view of a Naidu Hall outfit in Chennai

R. Ravikumar

Chennai, Aug. 27 The Chennai-based multi-brand garment retailer, Naidu Hall, is expanding its retail network under three sub-brands namely Naihaa, Feel Good Stores and Mermaid.

While Naihaa sells various brands of garments for men, women and children, and Feel Good Stores sell cosmetics and synthetic fashion jewellery, the brand Mermaid is a multi-brand lingerie store.

It also plans to create a new retail brand for the just-born – Bloopink.

Large-format stores

At present, it has eight Naihaa stores – six in Chennai and two in Salem and Madurai. All of them are large-format stores with an average 12,000 sq. ft. It plans to add seven more during this fiscal – three in Chennai and four in Coimbatore, Puducherry, Tiruchi and Erode.

FG Stores will see an addition of eight stores, all of which will be in the shop-in-shop format in Naihaa stores. The company at present has two Mermaid stores in Chennai. It plans to open two new stores – one in Chennai (Anna Nagar) and one in Bangalore.

“That apart, we are also in talks with Spencer’s Daily and the Heritage group’s Fresh@ stores to open FG stores in the shop-in-shop format,” said Mr R. Aravind, Managing Director, Naidu Hall.

The company has over 1,000 people on its rolls and will recruit more for its new stores.

Back-end operations

“We recently strengthened our back-end operations with better logistics, warehousing, HR management and other necessary infrastructure to support our expansion plans,” he said. The brand Naidu Hall, which is known for its own lingerie brand, has a number of private label products.

According to Mr Aravind, the stores, on an average, witness around 15,000 footfall a day with more than 80 per cent conversion rate. To draw more consumers, the company plans to have coffee bar inside all the big-format stores and is in talks with Café Coffee Day for the purpose.

Turnover

Last fiscal it registered a turnover of around Rs 60 crore. With the new stores it hopes to cross Rs 150 crore during the current fiscal. At present, the expansion projects are funded by internal accruals and bank debts.

“We are planning to rope in a private equity player for 20 per cent stake in the company by April next year. We are in talks with a couple of PE (private equity) players and hope to choose one soon,” said Mr Aravind.

Naidu Hall spends around Rs 3 crore to Rs4 crore a year for marketing, and “it will grow with the turnover in the months to come”.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 28, 2007)
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