To offer fashion brands at factory prices, without compromising on shopping experience

Our Bureau

Bangalore, Sept. 27

Pantaloon has announced a new retail format Brand Factory that promises to offer fashion brands at factory prices, without "compromising on shopping experience."

Mr Vishnu Prasad, President South and CEO Central and Brand Factory, said: "Factory outlets have become distinct shopping destinations with distinct audiences. About 25 per cent to the brand's revenues come from factory outlets. But what is compromised here is the brand and its image. Brand equity is diluted; customer treatment and shopping experience are poor. We saw in this an organised business opportunity. Brand Factory will offer brands at discounts and also provide the treatment and shopping experience that the customer deserves."

"There won't be a seconds' sales experience or the feel of a garage sale at Brand Factory. It's all about buying smart, not cheap," said Mr Prasad.

The Brand Factory outlets will offer seamless space, be fully air-conditioned, slickly designed, with parking space, and span across 60,000 to 1 lakh sq ft each. The first `Brand Factory' outlet offering 120 brands will be opened in Bangalore (in Marathahalli, the hub of factory outlets) next week. It will be spread across an area of 70,000 sq ft.

Brand Factory will stock a host of lifestyle products such as apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear, home linen and luggage. Brands to be retailed include Arrow, Esprit, Van Heusen, Levis, Reebok, Lee, Pepe, Wrangler and Provogue. The minimum discount is 20 per cent; average discounts on brands will be 35-40 per cent. The target customers are those belonging to the 20-35 years age-group.

The retail chain is looking to open 55 such outlets in 40 cities by 2010. By end-July, there will be three more outlets in the country. The second outlet will be opened in Hyderabad in October, while the third one will come up in Ahmedabad. Pantaloon's Future Group intends to take the concept to all metros and `A' class towns with 10 lakh population.

The market size of value retailing in the country is estimated at Rs 35,000-40,000 crore and growing at 20 per cent per annum.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 28, 2006)
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