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S Kumars looks at Rs 300-cr business from ready-to-wear — To extend Reid & Taylor to formalwear; plans economy brand

16-November-2004
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S Kumars looks at Rs 300-cr business from ready-to-wear — To extend Reid & Taylor to formalwear; plans economy brand

Total Wardrobe Solutions, the ready-to-wear division of S Kumars, is charting out a roadmap to generate Rs 300 crore worth of business over the next five years.

Mr Govind Mirchandani, who recently joined S Kumars, is rekindling that group's branded apparel ambitions, whose Tamarind brand launched a few years ago didn't take off.

Besides extending Reid & Taylor suiting fabric into the branded mens formalwear, Mr Mirchandani is making plans to tap the economy, mid-priced and super-premium segments of the domestic apparel market.

He entered the S Kumars fold earlier this year to head both Reid & Taylor and Total Wardrobe Solutions (TWS). Reid & Taylor is currently a Rs 200-crore lifestyle suiting business, while the ready-to-wear segment has a negligible presence as Tamarind failed to make any impact.

Mr Mirchandani expects to notch up Rs 800 crore worth of business between the two divisions in five years, with Reid & Taylor contributing roughly Rs 500 crore and TWS chipping in with Rs 300 crore.

"We are extending Reid & Taylor into formal men's shirts, priced between Rs 900 and Rs 1,400. We are already test-marketing some collections in select Reid & Taylor stores, and will soon go in for a full-fledged national rollout," he said.

Reid & Taylor, which currently has 14 stores across the country, is planning to expand the retail network to 50 outlets within 12 months.

Its foray into the apparel business could pitch it against established brands such as Van Heusen, especially given the price bracket that it is targeting.

In the mid-priced branded apparel segment, Mr Mirchandani says it is still a toss up between Tamarind and a completely new brand.

"We are looking at the possibility of giving a makeover for Tamarind, or go in for a new brand. Of course, Tamarind is dead and gone for the era in which it was launched. We will soon take a call on it." The Tamarind brand saw a highly visible advertising campaign featuring Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan.

Mr Mirchandani also plans to tap the economy segment of the branded apparel market, pegged between Rs 300 and Rs 500.

"We have registered a brand called World Player and are planning make a serious move in the economy space, with a formal menswear offering to begin with."

The economy segment has been testing the skills of majors like Madura Garments and Arvind as they have found managing the brand, and its distinct brand promise, a challenging task given the consumer characteristics and guerrilla tactics from smaller regional players.

But the plans for mid-priced and economy segments, to be followed by the super-premium foray, will have to wait for a while as the focus on the next one year is going to be on extending Reid & Taylor into the formal menswear apparel segment.

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