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    Handbags retailer Holii to launch couture range by Oct; targets 50 percent growth

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    Holii Bags and Accessories is targeting a growth rate of 50 percent from its couture range to be launched by end of September/October this year. To start with, the apparel line will be launched in department stores through shop-in-shop format. According to the company officials, the retailer is in the final stages of completion of its first apparel collection.

    Commenting on the reason to venture into apparel range, Gilles Moutounet, CEO, Holii, said: “We have realised that Holii as a brand has managed in a short time to stand out in the market and build for itself a strong brand equity among its customers. Moreover, the name Holii itself is still very universal for the Indian customers which gives the possibility for the brand to expand to new categories. The brand doesn’t have to restrict itself to bags and accessories but on the contrary expand its aura to new ones! So we have decided to capitalise on this. Looking at the Indian market dynamics, we have decided to launch an apparel collection. For this particular project, we have a long-term collaboration agreement with Mumbai-based designer Rahul Mishra. He is designing the Holii collection keeping in line with our Holii brand proposition.”

    Moutounet further added that next year onwards all new Holii stores will retail apparel line along with leather bags and accessories. He said that the marketing strategy for the couture range will certainly be a mix of print and outdoor media.

    “We are also exploring different ideas and options for new categories as well but they are still in initial stages for now. The existing activity and future launch of apparel are currently our main focus,” Moutounet said.

    Holii is also revamping its store designs and logo. Explaining the key points to be followed for a successful brand relaunch, Moutounet stated: “I think two exercises are required for a successful revamp. Firstly, do some introspection and understand your strengths and current weakness which needs to be addressed. Secondly, the main exercise which needs to be done is not to look at where the brand stands today but understand and define where you see the brand evolving and being positioned in the future. The new logo and the brand identity will be there to vehicle the shift required by the brand to travel from what it stands today to what it will stand for tomorrow. So understanding your core values and DNA of the brand are crucial so they can be reflected in the logo, which communicates who you are to your customers and target audience.”

    Speaking about the company’s plans for an overseas foray, he said that the company was working on a lot of inquiries received from potential partners in Europe, South Africa, and Middle East which should hopefully allow Holii to develop its international presence very soon.

    Holii plans to open around six stores this year in cities such as Kolkata, Goa, Cochin, and Chandigarh. The Kochi and Goa store are scheduled to open in July. In Goa, the store will open at the airport and the one at Kochi will come up at ABAAD mall. The retailer is also working in association with department stores to improve its footprint in the country. Holii will invest around Rs 5-7 crore in two years for the planned expansion.

    Talking about the targeted locations for its new stores, Moutounet added: “We are still looking at main metros as we still have a small network which can grow in big metros. For instance, we only have one store in a city like Delhi which certainly can absorb more than a Holii store, and it is interesting to build a cluster of activity region-wise as well. Tier 2 and 3 cities are not well represented in our existing network and hence their share is still low but we see those cities growing in future.”

    According to him, the offline sales are still the key business driver; however, Holii has started getting good response online as well and been listed in online websites such as Flipkart and Jabong. Moutounet confirmed that Holii’s online presence and contribution is also increasing rapidly.

    Holii Accessories is a joint venture between the Future Group and Hidesign.

    -Tripti Bisht
    triptibisht@imagesgroup.in