Raymond eyes complete footprint with rural growth

| Updated on: Mar 13, 2012
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Says media, travel exposure has narrowed gap in consumer preferences

Apparel major Raymond Ltd is expanding its retail footprint across India. Expansion in the last three years has been largely in small towns, taking the brand's exclusive stores to over 200 towns.

In the last three years, over 250 exclusive stores have been launched. Of the 100 planned for the financial year ending March, around 80 are up and running, taking the total to over 670.

Speaking to Business Line , Mr Rakesh Pandey, President – Retail and Corporate Marketing, Raymond Ltd, said, “We mapped all towns by the Census (2001) three years back. We identified 750 Tier -III, VI and V towns on the basis of population and economic potential. Based on market attractiveness, we decided to leverage Raymond's brand equity and enter these markets with exclusive stores.”

According to him, consumers in metros and smaller towns have today merged in terms of choices and preferences – thanks to exposure through travel and media.

The average ticket size is between Rs 4,500 and Rs 5,000 crore at the exclusive stores, a figure that has grown by 20 per cent of the last three years – thanks in part to increase in prices. In Tier -4 and -5 towns, this is lower by approximately Rs 800, Mr Pandey said.

Except for around 50 company-owned stores, the rest are franchisee-owned. Among new towns that Raymond has expanded into are Jalna, Latur, Porbander, Nanded, Bardoli and Baramati.

Forty per cent of the sales for Raymond apparel, split across Raymond (fabrics), Color Plus, Park Avenue, Parx and accessories, come from its exclusive stores. According to Mr Pandey, the ‘most profitable sales' also happens through this channel.

Continued expansion

The share of apparel in exclusive store sales has risen from below 40 per cent two and a half years ago to 45 per cent now, said the spokesperson. This has been aided by a marketing campaign for exclusive stores promoting the entire range of merchandise on offer, in addition to the signature ‘The complete man' campaign.

The target for Raymond is to open another 500 stores over the next three years. Based on Census 2011 data and a review of the company's past analysis, the new towns to enter would be chosen.

“The biggest issue in many small towns is that the main shopping area is restricted to one street. And we don't go ahead with a store unless we get a 16 x 18 feet frontage,” explained Mr Pandey.

Another area for retail expansion has been ‘Made to Measure' exclusive brand outlets rolled out a year ago. Seven of these are operational in Mumbai, in addition to 40 shop-in-shops within Raymond stores. In this format, customer measurements are taken at the store; and customised yet machine-stitched apparel is offered to the customer. These measurements are then stored in a data centre in Bangalore.

Mr Pandey added, “We have kept the entry pricing attractive starting at Rs 1,600 for a shirt. We're seeing a slightly younger group of customers take to this offering, and about 40 per cent are repeat purchases.”

Published on February 26, 2019

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