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Himalaya Optical to expand retail footprint

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To strengthen its position in the modern vision care and optical retail market in India, Himalaya Optical is planning an aggressive retail expansion, mainly in tier I and II cities. In the ongoing fiscal, the retailer plans to open 10 new stores with a total space of 9,000 sq.ft.

“We have a good presence in markets like Delhi and Kolkata, but the property rates are too high in metro cities. Almost 80 per cent of our total revenue comes from tier I cities, while the remaining 20 per cent comes from tier II cities. As the present market scenario indicates growth to be driven by tier II markets, our retail expansion strategy has been worked out accordingly,” says Sarat Binani, managing director, Himalaya Optical Pvt Ltd. The market is growing at 30-40 per cent per annum.

Himalaya Optical has already signed properties in Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Aurangabad, among other cities.

Sharing that the company’s strategy is to concentrate on both high streets and malls, Binani says, “Almost 60 per cent of our upcoming stores will be standalone properties located on high streets, while almost 40 per cent will be located in shopping centres.”

The retail chain already occupies around 36,000 sq.ft of retail space spread over 44 retail outlets in 22 cities across India. Close to 39 per cent of its total outlets are located in metro cities, 56 per cent in tier I cities and five per cent in tier II cities.

The multi-brand retailer offers a wide range of spectacles and sunglasses priced as low as Rs.590. Apart from its private label, the retailer houses high-end brands such as Bulgari, Prada and Cartier, among others. Its strategic marketing alliance with international lens manufacturers, such as Essilor, Nikon, Kodak and Seiko, makes it a major player in the vision care industry.

The company says that 68 per cent of its total revenue comes from spectacles, while the remaining 32 per cent comes from contact lenses and sunglasses.

Apart form its business of prescription lenses and spectacles, the company is focussing on strengthening its speciality eyecare clinic business. In the last two financial years, the company witnessed an average revenue growth of 18 to 20 per cent per annum. In FY’11, Himalaya Optical targets a revenue growth of 25-30 per cent.

— Piasi Sinha

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