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VIP plans new retail chain for its premium brands — Scouts for new agency to promote Carlton

23-November-2004
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VIP plans new retail chain for its premium brands — Scouts for new agency to promote Carlton

Segregating its mass and premium brands, the Rs 400-crore VIP Industries is planning to have a new retail strategy for its Carlton and Delsey brand of luggage.

These premium brands of imported luggage will not be available through the existing VIP World and luggage stores. Instead, the luggage major has decided to set up separate retail outlets for them.Mr Sudhir Jatia, Managing Director, Blowplast Ltd, told Business Line, "We are in the process of creating a new retail identity for our premium brands and are talking to a couple of agencies for developing the brands." In fact, VIP has already appointed Lintas India's strategic design consultancy outfit, dcell, for developing the retail strategy for Delsey. It is now in the process of identifying another agency for its newly acquired Carlton brand of luggage.

With plans of setting up nearly 100 Carlton and Delsey showrooms in the next 2-3 years, VIP Industries has marked an investment of Rs 4-5 crore for its premium retail venture.

At the same time, the company now wants to expand its presence in the premium segment and expects a larger slice of its turnover to come from this category. Mr Sunil Kataria, Vice-President, Marketing, claims, "Today, the premium segment contributes about 45-50 per cent of the turnover. We would like to strengthen it to about 75-80 per cent."

Delsey and Carlton brands are pitted against Samsonite in the Indian market.

Besides, VIP Industries is also looking at beefing up its export turnover. Having set up a sourcing base in Hong Kong recently, which would serve as South Asia's hub, the company hopes to beat the competition from the Chinese soft luggage players. "We are looking at adding another Rs 50 crore to our export turnover to take it to Rs 200 crore next year," adds Mr Kataria.

The company has also floated a joint venture in Bangladesh (VIP Nitcol Industries).

Meanwhile, with the healthy growth rates in the soft luggage market pegged at 25-30 per cent, VIP is looking at establishing its Carlton brand of luggage. The 25-year-old UK-based brand with the baseline `Ready for the world', is expected to beef up VIP's premium offerings in the Indian market with fresh advertising to support it. "We have Ambience Publicis handling the Carlton brand on a project basis but hope to finalise a new ad agency soon," states Mr Kataria.

The luggage major expects a 25 per cent jump in its ad budget next year.

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