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    Sub-brands for Stable Growth

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    Brand family of , Louis Philippe has expanded to a wider audience. Jacob John, Brand Head, Louis Philippe, elaborates on the brand’s thriving transition from classic to modern lifestyle with the introduction of their new sub-brand categories.

    Launched in India in 1989, Louis Philippe, has come a long way from being a serious, classic formal wear to a contemporary lifestyle brand that targets a wide age group between 22 and 65 years. Five years ago, the brand went through serious innovations by introducing its sub-brand, LP Sport, a premium segment for the just-out-of-college or early job goers and aged between 22 to 30 year olds. LP Sport’s preppy and vibrant collection of T-shirts, trousers, denims and accessories promised a wider reach to a new segment of the Indian fashion conscious youth.

    According to Jacob John, Brand Head, Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, “The turnover Louis Philippe had crossed last year was Rs 1,000 crore. We see another 25 percent growth this year. So that is Rs 1,300 crore by this year end.”


    Growing Sub-brands

    Following LP Sports, the brand introduced more premium categories called Luxure, LP, LP shoes and bags. John says, “shirts contribute to 55-60 percent of the sales. The ratio is always 1:3 which is trouser:shirt.”

    The brand’s new innovation for this year was the introduction of LP Jeans owing to the fast changing market trends is expected to grow exponentially to bring in more than 50 percent revenue. Consumers wear denim almost everyday and quite often, even on a Monday. The brand decided to focus on denim as a new category. “Fashion is changing towards jeans and that’s why we have introduced LP Jeans. So that will be a good staple for growth this year as it is not in all the states or in all the ranges. So a consumer who walks into the store can buy for various lifestyle needs. Consumers come for a formal trouser shirt or a leisure product,” states John.


    Changing Trends

    John explains that the industry’s growth is propelled from the change in consumer’s attitude toward fashion in India. He says, “Consumers are constantly on the lookout for newer styles. In trends, you would have noticed three to five years back that checked shirts were in fashion, now this year and last year, a lot of styles have come into body hugging fits. These are very young looking fits. Coloured chinos and denim are also big.”
    Expansion

    Louis Philippe had 70 stores 2 years ago. Today there are 150 outlets. “So the last two years have seen a focus on retail expansion,” he says, “We have managed to open 80 stores in the last 2 years and this year we are again going to be very aggressive with our expansion plans. We are planning to open 50 stores this year. By the end of the fiscal 2014, we should have 200 stores in the country."
    Challenges

    Increase of raw material prices and government policies are some of the challenges. John feels relieved that excise has been removed at the moment, but he is concerned that there are chances that it can come back into the brand. Another major challenge are real estate where getting the right place at the right cost becomes difficult.
    Store Formats

    The flagship stores are 8,000 sq. ft. in area and are located at high-streets in the country. The ‘House of Louis Phillipe’ stores that are an average area of 2,500 sq.ft that houses all the sub-brands. There are also exclusive LP stores and LP Sports stores that are upto the size of 2,200 sq.ft. Explains John, “Last year, we opened three footwear stores and luggage stores, one each in Mumbai, Pune and Jaipur. We plan to have 30 such stores within three years.”

    According to John, the investment per  square feet for a typical store is around Rs 3,000 for a franchisee whereas a 2,000 sq. ft. store requires an investment of about Rs 60 lakh. John points out that a good store brings returns within two years. So far the average bill size is Rs 3,000 and above and the monthly per sq.ft. sales is Rs 32 -35. Loyalty programmes such as the Upper Crust Club contributes 40 per cent of repeat sales in the store.

     

    category Price Range(‘) Contribution to Sale

    LP

    1,500 - 3,500

    25 percent

    Luxure

    3,500 - 10,000
    15,000 - 65,000 (suitings)

    3 percent 
    (sometimes less)

    Footwear

    2,500 - 10,000

    3 percent

    Shirts

    1,500 - 3,000

    55 percent

    Knitwear, winterwear
    shirts and jackets

    2,500 onwards

    14 percent