Monte Carlo to enter kidswear market this year

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Branded knitwear retailer Monte Carlo, owned by Oswal Woollen Mills, is looking at entering the kidswear market in a focused manner this year. It is also targeting online sales worth Rs 2 crores.

The booming kidswear market in India is the reason for the company’s plan to foray into the segment which has a huge untapped potential. With an entry into the kidswear market, Monte Carlo aspires to be a one-stop-family-shop.

The company presently has 150 EBOs and 800 MBOs across India and plans to add 30 EBOs and 100 MBOs in 2012 to this tally. This calendar year, it is looking at revenues of Rs 400 crore exclusively from the Monte Carlo brand. It plans to raise funding through an IPO whenever the market conditions are conducive, company officials have stated.

Talking to IndiaRetailing about the challenges faced by knitwear retailers in India, Sandeep Jain, Executive Director, Monte Carlo, said: “The challenge mainly comes from the unorganized sector in terms of fake branded products as it is difficult for a consumer to differentiate between a locally made fake garment and a premium branded garment. Excise duty is another hindrance which has increased the knitwear prices.”

The branded knitwear market constitutes only 20 percent of the total market size but is growing 25 percent every year and is one of the fastest growing segments of the Indian apparel industry. The focus of the industry is gradually shifting from basic knits to high value and specialized knits such as Mercerized and Pima, according to Jain. “An emerging trend in knitwear is towards finer counts and 100 percent wool and wool-blended fine yarns,” he said.

Woollen Knitwear is the company’s top-selling category for both men and women, accounting for about 40 percent sales in their respective segments. The sales ratio between woolen and cotton-based garments stands at 40:60, according to company officials. The company targets young executives of 25 years and above for its sales.

Jain said that Monte Carlo’s MBO business is through booking and collection agents. The company’s EBOs and MBOs contribute 45 percent each towards its total sales, while large format stores account for the rest. The company looks for four basic requirements while choosing a franchisee: store location, size and dimensions, financial status and attitude, and retail background of the franchisee.

Speaking on the growing sports apparel market in India, Jain said: “India is a sports loving country but it is more towards viewership and not active participation, so the emphasis of apparel industry is on sports lifestyle and not active sportswear.”

-Tripti Bisht
[email protected]

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