Retail as a sector is seeing tremendous growth in India, and organisations like Pantaloons Retail India Ltd (PRIL) are playing a key role in leading this growth. Pantaloons’ move to re-launch as a fashion brand took place in the last quarter of 2005, but the action is coming across now with the brand actively associating with fashion properties – further making noise in the sector itself.
Another indication of the noise that Pantaloon intends to make can be seen in the company’s decision to up its marketing and advertising spends. Pantaloons officials informed that the retail major had earmarked a budget of Rs 100 crore for 2006 as advertising and marketing spends. The year will also see Pantaloons entering strategic tie-ups, which would reinforce its new positioning as a fashion brand.
One of the first significant moves from the organisation in this direction comes with the associate sponsorship of Ponds Femina Miss India. According to Sanjeev Agrawal, President, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd, the association reiterated its repositioning as a fashion brand. “We have consciously taken the decision that Pantaloons be seen as a fashion brand. Fashion and retail are inter-related and to be in the space with this kind of positioning will imply more movement of Pantaloons itself,” he added.
The development will be followed by a series of marketing and advertising activities until March, 2006. Agrawal explained that with this, Pantaloons would also get substantial on-air and off-air mileage.
“Even if you see the call for entries advertising, its says the forms can be dropped in at Pantaloons stores as well. In addition to that, we are engaging in various activities related to the contest, where the contestants can even get a free portfolio done, people can choose their own fresh face and so on. The idea is a clear connect with the end customer and to reinforce our new tagline, ‘Fresh Fashion’,” Agrawal added.
Agrawal explained that the event was a complete fit for Pantaloons and that the organisation would look at more such tie-ups. Pantaloons will also utilise the opportunity to introduce two new clothing line-ups in February and March 2006. “A reason why ‘Fresh Fashion’ embodies Pantaloons is because our merchandising changes every six weeks and in keeping with that line, we will introduce the line-up specific to the event,” Agrawal explained.
The company is also planning Pantaloons stores rollout in a big way in 2006. Pantaloons will open 12-15 more outlets in 2006, taking the total tally to about 30 stores. The new stores will continue with Pantaloons new identity, which is aimed at being more young and radical vis-à-vis the family store imagery.
Agrawal informed that in terms of advertising, an integrated communication strategy involving print, outdoor, in-store and Internet / interactive had been launched and the focus on this aspect would aggressively continue during the year.