Rupa & Co plans to expand retail footprint via exclusive brand outlets

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on October 18, 2019 Published on October 18, 2019

Dinesh Lodha, CEO Rupa & Company Limited   -  Debasish Bhaduri

Kolkata-based knitwear-maker Rupa & Company is looking to strengthen its retail presence by setting up 150 exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) and making its brand available in 300 large-format stores in the next two years. It is also looking to ramp up sales through the e-commerce route, including its own website.

The company currently has five EBOs – Rupa Comfort Store – primarily in the eastern region. While all of these stores are currently company-owned and company-operated, it is looking to adopt the franchisee model for setting up its stores, moving forward.

“The eastern region currently accounts for 35-40 per cent of our total sales. We have a reasonable presence in western, southern and central markets. We are looking to increase our penetration in these markets by setting up EBOs,” Dinesh Lodha, CEO, Rupa & Co, told BusinessLine.

Setting up of EBOs would also help strengthen its outerwear segment market, which includes athleisure and leggings, among others. Outerwear accounts for around 10 per cent of its total sales at present, while the remaining 90 per cent comes from innerwear. However, the EBOs have been clocking good sales of outerwear and this is likely to shore up its share to 15-16 per cent in the next two-to-three years, he said.

“Nearly 65 per cent of our sales in EBOs come from outerwear. We see this trend being maintained, moving forward,” he said.

Modern retail trade basically includes EBOs, large-format stores and e-commerce. The share of modern retail to its total sales, which currently stands at around 3 per cent, is likely to increase to 10-12 per cent in the next two-to-three years.

The company would also nurture its existing dealer network in general trade with special initiatives to offer ease-of-doing business.

Growth in business

Rupa & Co, which had registered a turnover of over Rs 1,100 crore in FY19, is looking to clock revenues of Rs 2,000 crore by 2022.

Though the knitwear and hosiery industry has been witnessing a slowdown, Rupa has been able to clock higher growth in the first half of this fiscal over the same period last year.

The company, which had posted about 4 per cent growth in business in FY19 over FY18, is hopeful of being able to achieve double-digit growth in sales this fiscal backed by its retail expansion.

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Published on October 18, 2019
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