Bath & Body Works will break even in India this year itself: Tushar Ved, Major Brands
New stores to be launched in other cities too, staying ahead of competition, says Major Brands India President
Major Brands, India’s leading retailer for premier international fashion apparel, accessories and beauty brands, will launch the first Bath & Body Works store in Mumbai.
It entered India early this year with the launch of its two stores in Delhi. With the stores receiving positive response in terms of high sales, on the back of its popularity, customer experience, product offering and variety, Tushar Ved, President, Major Brands India, is upbeat about breaking even this financial year. “We will break even this year since it’s very high volume, high sales per sq ft and high productivity,” he said.
Post Mumbai, Major Brands is looking to open stores for the same brand in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Lucknow. Given their positioning and learnings of the country, the brand believes in carpet bombing, “The strategy has to be opening five stores in one city, three stores in another. The idea is carpet bombing. In Delhi we have three stores, the fourth will open now and the fifth one later. In Mumbai, we are opening one now and are looking to start another. It depends on the capacity and mall culture of a city,” Ved said.
Ved is confident about Bath & Body Works scoring with its price competitiveness. “Our packaging is bigger. But our biggest advantage is that we have 600 SKUs. Anybody in this category will not have more than 100 to150 SKUs. We are catering to both men and women. Some of our products are unisexual as well. We introduce 150+ SKUs every year. Our collections will remain but we will keep adding new categories.”
When it comes to marketing, the brand communication is focused towards the location. Ved says, “They need to know we are here. We are open and available. This is the communication for the launch.” For the Mumbai launch the brand is doing outdoor, digital and print. (Mumbai is known for billboards.) “In Delhi, we used metros for promotion.” The brand did BTL activities in the form of a month-long experiential zone in both stores in Delhi. Ved said that they have allocated around Rs 1.5 crore for the Mumbai launch. Going ahead the marketing budget will remain the same but the strategy will change, he said, insisting that it would be heavy on the digital front.
The brand, also known for its Japanese Cherry Blossom line worldwide, is number one in Delhi, informs Ved. He is expecting it to be fast moving in Mumbai as well. Every quarter it will add new categories.
The company is investing approximately Rs 80 crore for expansion in India over three years. “We have flown people down to the US for training. It’s the fastest growing brand for us. It will take the company to a whole new level,” he said.
The first two stores opened in Delhi with much fanfare with almost 350 people waiting in queue. Bath & Body Works is looking at going online in 2019-20 with their own e-commerce store. They will later explore partnerships.
The beauty market in India is $8 billion, which is growing at 7 per cent every year.
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