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Tommy Hilfiger bullish on small towns

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Super premium brand Tommy Hilfiger is looking to expand aggressively into “untapped” smaller towns and cities this year.

While 80 per cent of its stores are in the top five cities, the remaining are in the smaller towns. “Last year, we expanded into Patiala, Jalandar and Ahmedabad. We have been successful in these places. This year, we are looking at untapped places such as Jaipur and Amritsar. Presence in Tier-II and III cities is going to rise rapidly in the future,” said Shailesh Chaturvedi, CEO, Tommy Hilfiger India.

The brand, currently, is present in 13 cities across 40 doors (20 exclusive brand outlets and 20 shop-in-shops). It is looking to cross 50 doors this year across the country.

Small towns currently contribute around 20 per cent of the brand’s sales. “It could go up to one-third in two years’ time. That’s the kind of potential in the short run,” said Mr Chaturvedi.

The average price point of Tommy Hilfiger apparel is Rs 2,300. Prices start from Rs 900 to Rs 15,000.

With a fancy price tag like that, what makes the brand so bullish on smaller towns? The rising prosperity in small towns is the reason behind the brand’s confidence, said Mr Chaturvedi.

“The purchasing power even in small towns is rising and customers have the desire to upgrade themselves to a bigger brand. The awareness about Tommy is also picking up in small towns.”

How does the brand perceive the current market slowdown? Tommy Hilfiger believes innovation is the surest way to beat the downturn.

Recently, the brand launched special edition sunglasses inspired by Bollywood actor Soha Ali Khan – a bright yellow pair of glares in the classic aviator design (priced Rs 8,000), which is part of Tommy Hilfiger’s summer line.

“It is product innovations such as these that bring a good affinity with the brand, in today’s context where the consumers are little more challenged when it comes to buying,” said Mr Chaturvedi. “Innovation, especially product innovation, gives consumers a compelling reason to buy even in the downturn.”

There are more “innovative products” in the pipeline, he added.

Source: Business Line

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