French menswear brand Celio debuted in India in January 2009. While keeping its range nominal, Celio has done a decent business in its debut year itself. Rajat Luthra, CEO of Celio Future Fashion Ltd, shares his views on the Indian retail industry and where he sees the company a few years down the line in conversation with Shubhra Saini.
What kind of response has Celio received from India?
Celio has been accepted very well in the Indian market. We have consistently been among the top performing brands in the large format stores such as Pantaloons, Central and Lifestyle. We have also been meeting our topline expectations in the exclusive standalone stores. With a wide spectrum of offerings in men’s apparels and accessories at good price points under a dynamic store environment, we are aggressively spreading our footprint across India.
Celio entered India with Future Group. Has the JV proved successful for the brand?
Celio Future Fashion Ltd is a 50:50 joint venture between Celio and Future Venture India Limited. Future Group has a well-recognised and well-established retail setup with big fashion brands under its umbrella. Celio definitely stands to gain from this. Besides, Future Group also has well established retail infrastructure in terms of property, supply chain and IT. Match this with our French heritage and product range that aims to cater to all departments of menswear – be it casuals or formals. With merchandise and accessories in all categories, we aim to become the most preferred brand in men’s apparel.
Which retail format suits the brand most?
We operate out of standalone stores across India, in high street locations and prominent shopping malls as well as shop-in-shops in large format stores. As part of our expansion strategy, we plan to add more exclusive stores in metros. For example, in Bangalore, we have exclusive stores at Brigade Road as well as in Mantri Mall. In Delhi, we are present at the Khan Market while in Mumbai, we have a store at the Palladium mall.
How is Celio competing with other prominent brands in the market?
Our strategy is to introduce international styles and fashionable products at attractive prices. We will continue to expand our presence through the existing formats of exclusive stores and shop-in-shops in metros.
What kind of marketing strategy have you devised to create awareness about the brand?
To reach out to our target customers, we send direct mailers of our campaign catalogue. Product-centric promotions also generate footfalls. We also advertise in the print medium, mainly through magazines.
What are Celio’s expansion plans?
Currently, we are operating out of 11 standalone stores across India in high street locations and prominent shopping malls and over 43 shop-in-shops in large format stores. We are planning to add 15 more exclusive stores in metros. Also, the organic growth with shop-in-shops will continue to fuel our expansion plans.