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Victorinox plans retail expansion — will enhance portfolio

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Seeing the Indian youth’s engagement in adventurous activities as also the potential in outdoor equipment, Victorinox, makers of the legendary Swiss army knife, plans to add 6-7 franchisee showrooms to its existing tally of seven by mid-2008. The company will also open 25-30 shop-in-shops.

“Victorinox have been in the country since 2000 through a distribution network, and last year it formed its Indian subsidiary. We are expanding our retail network through franchise showrooms and shop-in-shops in metros and other major cities. Once this network is established, we’ll move to the tier II towns as well,” Anish Goel, managing director, Victorinox India, told Indiaretailing.

When asked if the brand will have company-owned exclusive outlets, Goel clarified, “Since the brand has a vast product portfolio, from Swiss knives and adventure gear to perfumes, an exclusive outlet does not make sense, at least as of now.”

The upcoming franchisee showrooms will be 500 to 700 square feet, and each will incur an approximate investment of Rs 25-30 lakh.

“In addition to our existing product portfolio, we’ll soon introduce travel gear, which has achieved remarkable success worldwide. Victorinox fragrance range will also hit the racks soon, while an apparel line and many other products are on the cards,” informed Goel.

Victorinox is a popular brand name globally. With its innovative, functional and practical product line and philosophy, the brand has created a niche for itself.

In India, Victorinox offers Swiss army knives, kitchen knives for domestic and professional hotel industry, grafting and pruning knives for the horticulture and farming industry, and wristwatches. The products are retailed through seven authorised franchisee showrooms and several shop-in-shops in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.

Revealing the company’s financial targets, Goel said, “We are expecting breakeven by 2009, while this year our target is to have turnover worth Rs 15 crore in the retailing division. We also see strong potential in corporate gifting market, and that should be at least Rs 10 crore.

“Victorinox as a group, with all its product lines, made half a billion Swiss Francs last year. Likewise, in India we expect to meet our targets this year.”

– Ranjan Kaplish

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