Samsonite has, as part of an expansion drive, lined up around 38 large format stores across the country over the next 15 months.
The company will be investing Rs 65 crore in retail expansion, including the 38 stores. At present, the total number of Samsonite stores in the country is 132.
Ramesh Tainwala, president and chief executive officer, Samsonite South Asia, said the large format stores, typically, were 1,500-2,000 sq ft.
At present, the total retail space is 1.2 lakh sq ft and the additional 132 stores will add another 1.7 lakh sq ft.
Over the next six weeks, Samsonite will have 11 Black Label stores in the country. Black Label is Samsonite’s premium line for travel connoisseurs, conceptualised by European designers – Marc Newson and Quentin Mackay. Tainwala said the stores would be spread across six cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
Last year, Samsonite’s turnover from India was in the region of Rs 650 crore, including exports.
Its Nasik unit, under the garb of a competent centre, primarily caters to the export market. Tainwala said around 95 per cent of the Nasik production was used for exports of premium and high-end products. Samsonite imports the low and mid-segment ranges.
Worldwide, the decision is to outsource the low and mid-segment ranges from countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, the Phillipines and Sri Lanka.
Black Label, priced at Rs 35,000 and above, would be a major driver for growth. At present, the brand accounts for 2-3 per cent of Samsonite’s gobal turnover at $1.2 billion.
But over the next five years it is slated to account for one-third of the turnover. Samsonite recently set up a new plant in Gujarat at a cost of Rs 45 crore. Tainwala said the plant’s capacity would be more than one million pieces over the next one year.