Lilliput bent on adding more to kidswear bouquet

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With the aim of becoming a complete lifestyle label for kids, Lilliput has launched on a major extension spree. The kidswear brand is not only extending its retail presence, but also the product categories.

“We started as an apparel company and now have various accessories including eyewear, belts, socks and bags, as also nightwear and innerwear. Footwear alone constitutes around 12 per cent of our sales. We introduced ethnicwear for girls and will soon have the same for boys, with an extended product portfolio, which will include jodhpuris, tuxedos and three-piece suits. Early next year, we will launch Lilliput swimwear,” Sanjeev Narula, managing director, Lilliput, told Indiaretailing.

Commenting on the company’s retail expansion plans, Narula said: “Over 20 stores are in the making for NCR region alone. Soon, the brand’s exclusive stores will open in major markets and malls including Ambi, Pacific and V3S malls, while in our overseas expansion plans, around six more outlets are on schedule for China by June next year.”

Asked about the brand’s attitude towards the imminent competition with a lot of major players eyeing the kidswear market, Narula said: “If healthy, the competition is always good. We are in the process of strengthening the brand with lots of additions, stress on product quality, and enhancing the retail experience. We are confident of our brand positioning; our inside research says that Lilliput has already acquired 15 per cent of kidswear market share, and this is growing. We are concentrating on amplifying the business generated per square feet.”

Other than its exclusive stores, Lilliput also retails through major MBOs including Shoppers’ Stop, Lifestyle, Piramyd and Ebony

Started in 1990, Lilliput manufactures over 350,000 pieces of apparel in a month from its seven state-of-the-art manufacturing units nationwide, and has annual turnover of over US$40 million.

According to the Images-Technopak apparel report, share of kidswear apparel segment in value terms in 2006 was 17.1 per cent, accounting for Rs 15,960 crore, and achieved growth of nearly 10 per cent in the year.

The growth rate in this segment is expected to rise further with new entrants in the business. Recently, Spykar, a youthwear brand, announced entry into kidswear with the launch of OYO, while Koutons Junior is also readying for debut. In 2006, the market saw some foreign entrants like Whoppi and Monalisa, while garment major Raymonds announced its kidswear entry with Zapp kids.

– Ranjan Kaplish

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