Raymond Apparel Ltd, makers of menswear brands like Park Avenue and Parx, has aligned its shirting portfolio in line with its new suiting philosophy. The move entails offering a range of menswear shirts under four broad categories: evening wear, leisure wear, corporate wear, and travel wear.
Speaking to FE, company executive director Shreyas Joshi said: ‘‘Suits from Raymond and Park Avenue earlier meant only formal corporate wear but now we are completing our suiting and shirting range with new product concepts like travel, leisure and evening wear. We are now ready with shirts to complement these four categories of suits.’’
The new product family strategy follows from a realisation that the company was losing a sizeable part of business opportunity because of the narrow focus on a singular concept: formal corporate wear. Moreover, the company reckons that it is shirts which are major growth drivers for a menswear operation.
Post-monsoon, Raymond will roll out shirts in accordance with new portfolio approach. For instance, evening wear shirts will have darker shade base with deep purple, black, satin and hints of Lurex (metallic yarn). Thus, an evening suit buyer need not go to a non-Raymond brand to pick an evening shirt (Rs 1,500-Rs 1,600).
While Raymond’s corporate suits are priced in the range of Rs 6,000-Rs 11,000, leisure, evening and travel are priced at around Rs 4,000-Rs 7,000.
Raymond has used new concepts like: pockets for mobile handset and high-twist stretchable material in travel suits; more detailed inner construction in all suits; and a contrasting viscose acetate lining in place of earlier polyester one.
To strengthen its shirting range, Raymond is also importing new cotton shirts from Japan, priced at Rs 2,199 and offered in three shades—white, light blue and light green.
While the Japanese range will be fully imported, Raymond’s select shirt range will have imported cotton fabric like Giza (Rs 1,499) and Supima (Rs 1,299).
Mr Joshi points out that upscale buyers are looking for differentiation and imported cottons fulfil their needs. ‘‘From nil a few seasons ago, cotton imports have grown to five per cent of our overall procurement. This is a very small share currently but it is steadily growing,’’ he adds.
Raymond is waiting for the start of its 1,000-a-day Bangalore suits plant (currently in the trial stage) in January 2005, which will meet partly the company’s domestic requirements besides focusing on exports.
Raymond Apparel is a subsidiary of the Rs 1,091.53-crore Raymond Ltd. The company hopes to post 15 per cent revenue growth and a double-digit PAT figure. In fiscal 2003-04, it showed a PAT of Rs 2.2 crore (Rs 6.47 crore in 2002-03) on a gross turnover of Rs 150.71 crore (Rs 150.75 crore in 2002-03).