Classic Knits, of the Rs 220-crore Royal Classic Group of companies based in Tirupur, has entrusted Hakuhodo Percept with handling its new brand 'Smash'. The undergarments range from Smash will be introduced in the Indian market by the end of the month. Smash was acquired by the company eight months ago to make its foray into undergarments and active wear.
Speaking to exchange4media, Anand Iyer, Brand Head for Domestic Brands at Classic Knits, said, "We were exploring options of having an undergarment brand in the portfolio. Since Classic Polo is a lifestyle brand, we did not want to extend it to undergarments. Smash will establish its presence in two categories - undergarments and active wear. The positioning will be that of a premium brand with international quality offered at value-for-money pricing."
A spokesperson from Hakuhodo Percept said that 'Smash' would attempt to go beyond the generic 'physical comfort' communicated by other brands in the category. He said, "While the core target remains the 20-30 year old from metros, there is a large audience beyond this segment that the communication will address." Hakuhodo Percept has been handling the Classic Polo brand (T-shirts, shirts and trousers) for the company, a brand with 25 per cent market share in the branded knitwear market in India. The ad-spend allocated for 'Smash' is expected to be in the region of Rs 4 crore for print and television.
The phase one of the launch, commencing in South India, will see Smash undergarments hitting stores. The Smash active wear range is to be launched in Phase 2. The company plans to launch a kids-wear range in 2006.
While Smash undergarment is expected to straddle a wide price band, it is learnt to be entering the market with more than 20 products in the vest, brief and boxer categories alone. The company has put a team in place to handle the new brand in its portfolio, and the target for Smash in fiscal 2005-06 is Rs 20 crore, according to Iyer. "We hope to make it a Rs 100 crore brand by 2008," he added.
The Royal Classic Group, a 100 per cent vertically integrated player, had announced in February that it will be doubling its capacities in all the segments it operates and plans to increase sales to touch Rs 300 crore in the next fiscal.