Bengaluru-based Rajesh Exports Limited (REL) is all set to launch its premium jewellery chain christened Shubh Jewellers in the south Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The company may look at North India after the rollout in the South.
“Targeted at the mass market, REL is launching Shubh Jewellers under an associate type of business model across four south Indian states. The company is acquiring local jewellery shops to organise the local jewellery market. While Rajesh Exports will provide the inventory, the shops will continue to be run by the local jewellers. The company has finalised associate agreements with jewellers for the launch of 100 Shubh Jewellers across these states,” a Rajesh Exports spokesperson told Indiaretailing.
The company plans to open the first Shubh Jewellers store in Bengaluru in the first week of December. “The target is to open 4-10 stores every week. We intend to have 100 Shubh stores by March-April 2008 in South India,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, REL has also purchased all the 30 outlet assets of OyzterBay in India and repositioned them under a new store brand name, Laabh (‘profit’) to cater to the higher end of the jewellery market. Both Shubh and Laabh are together expected to bring in retail revenues worth Rs 200 crore this year. Next year (2008-09), the company is eyeing revenues worth Rs 1,000 crore on the back of a retail expansion plan.
According to industry reports, REL earlier were in advance talks with Fossil, a leader in fashion watches and accessories, to float a 50:50 joint venture company, Fossil India Limited (FIL), with four main objectives – to set up a manufacturing base in India to manufacture watches and other accessories under known brands and distribute these products in the country mainly through wholesale and other channels; to establish a retail network in India which would retail the products of Fossil and REL; to jointly create a range of designs that would be offered to global markets by the already established global distribution network of Fossil, and to distribute Fossil’s globally known brands through the REL network. The arrangement has been delayed due to problems at the US end of Fossil, but is still very much on, according to sources.
It is also learnt that the company is looking to take its retail stores abroad. But this could take at least one-and-a-half years, said CMD Rajesh Mehta. Reacting to reports of shedding stake, Mehta ruled out any stake dilution in the company.
Last month, the company roped in Bollywood actor Sharmila Tagore as brand ambassador. Through its internal team, REL has created 60-, 40-, 30-, 20- and 10-second TVCs for its Laabh brand. The TVCs feature Tagore and have been directed by Hemant Hegde. The campaign amount of Rs 300 million announced earlier has also been ramped up.
– Vishnu Rageev R, Bengaluru Bureau