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Van Heusen to roll out stores in smaller cities

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Apparel brand Van Heusen from the Madura Garments group is looking to implement an extensive retail expansion plan by opening 25 exclusive stores this year and 65 more stores by the end of financial year 2012. The brand wants to have a pan-India presence and reach 50 tier-I and tier-II cities. The average size of the stores will be 200 square feet and the flagship stores will cover 7,000 square feet.

The company is planning most of its stores on high street locations because it does not want to be dependent on malls. The company will have stores in four different formats – men, women, V Dot for youngsters and a combination of all of these. “We have never launched these many stores in one year alone. The market is good right now with lower rentals, overheads, costs and more efficient supply chain,” said Shitalkumar Mehta, chief operating officer.

In addition, the company has increased its brand-building spends by 50 per cent this year. Last year, 5 per cent of the turnover went towards promotions and advertising. This year, about 7 per cent of the turnover will go into brand-building exercises. “We want to make Van Heusen a Rs 800,000 crore brand in five years,” Mehta said. For this year, the company has set a turnover target of Rs 375-400 crore in terms of retail value alone.

The company has tied up with the Fashion Design Council of India to launch India’s first Men’s Fashion Week as the title sponsor. The event will be held in Delhi from September 11-13. In the grand finale of the fashion event, it will showcase the Van Heusen designer collection, which will later be commercialised and sold through the company’s exclusive outlet.

The firm will also launch a premium collection for men, Heritage, priced at Rs 4,000 and upwards this September. Van Heusen is also getting into denim wear under its brand V Dot. The brand has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 40 per cent and plans to continue the same this year as well. For April-July 2009, the company had a growth of 26 per cent.

Source: Financial Chronicle

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