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Wills Lifestyle to double number of stores

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Looking to expand in smaller cities

A WILLS LIFESTYLE showroom in Thiruvananthapuram.
A WILLS LIFESTYLE showroom in Thiruvananthapuram.

Deepak Goel

New Delhi, Aug. 21

Garments and accessories retailing division of ITC Ltd, Wills Lifestyle, plans to increase its footprint by doubling the number of stores from the current 50 to around 100 in the next two to three years.

More importantly, the company plans to triple the floor area in the process and thus open larger stores. The company is also looking at smaller cities for expansion. "We are looking at a lot of tier II and tier III towns for setting up our stores. A lot of these would come up in the catchment areas being created by malls. However, about 50 per cent of our business would still come from the top five to six cities," said the Divisional Chief Executive, ITC Ltd, Mr Chitranjan Dar, at the sidelines of the India Fashion Week conference recently. The investment for the expansion could be about Rs 50-55 crore, which would be generated through internal accruals.

Wills Lifestyle stores initially offered only sportswear, but later expanded the basket to include formal and casual wear including accessories. Footfalls at the company stores have been increasing at the rate of 25-30 per cent every year, according to Mr Dar. With the company's primary sponsorship of the fashion week event, customers can now expect a lot of designer prêt clothing. As partners of the Fashion Design Council of India, it will also retail designs by designers participating in the event. The stores would also focus on accessories, especially eyewear and fragrances.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 22, 2006)
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