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Numero Uno’s share in the Indian denimwear market is 10 per cent

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Numero Uno began its journey in the year 1987, as was hailed as one of the first Indian denim brands. With jean at its core, Numero Uno offers a complete range of apparels and accessories. Numero Uno’s state-of-the-art plants are located in Gurgaon and Selaqui in Uttarakhand. Numero Uno began the journey by procuring denim fabric from the domestic market and converting it into cool pair of denims at affordable prices. Today, Numero Uno has 190 exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) in 110 cities and presence in 750 multi-brand outlets (MBOs) in approximately 200 cities.
In an elaborate interview with IMAGES Retail,Narinder Singh, Director, Numero Uno, talks about the future expansion plans of the brand,

What has been the total company turnover for Numero Uno? Also, tell us about the brand’s growth rate over the past few years.

We have a total turnover of Rs.150 crore and our year-on-year growth is15 per cent.

What is your current market share and what target do you have for future?

Our current share in the Indian denimwear market is 10 per cent, and we are looking at improving this figure by at least 5 per cent pan India.

Denim is becoming a competitive category with many international players vying for presence here. Share your thoughts on the same.

The Indian denimwear market is dominated by all the brands wooing the youth in the age group of 14–30, with brands making offerings at different price-points for each age group. Retailing in India is different than international markets because of the acceptance of denims, which is now gaining prominence in age group of 30 and above. Hence, it offers a huge opportunity in this segment. The new generation has grown up with denims and is now comfortable in, and receptive to, new styles, fits and fabrics.

In various international markets, the online shopping of denim is quite common, although in India it is still picking up. Internationally, the denim market is somewhat saturating and is facing stiff competition from leggings, yoga pants and sportswear especially in the women’s category. On the other hand, in India (as per Technopak), the market is growing by 14 per cent. Thanks to increasing urbanisation and the growing acceptance of denim, even the women’s and kids segments whose contribution was miniscule is now seeing a good jump. The international denim market is more open to printed denims, flares and boot-cuts, low rise slim fit, organic denims, embroidered, heavy distressed denims, and metallics. The Indian scene is more dominated by slim and straight fit jeans, and the raw look is picking up big time in India.

Tell us about the market positioning of Numero Uno.

The USP of the brand is international quality fashion at affordable price and we position ourselves as the wardrobe solution provider in the casualwear segment. We stand by our quality, integrity and fashion.

Please share the customer profile for denim and non-denim category.

Primary: Male/Female in the age group of 17 to 24.
Secondary: Young working professionals, newly married or people with young kids in the age group of 25 to 35 (both men and women).

Making denims is our greatest passion and this is the reason why we are not apprehensive of international brands foraying into the Indian market. We are the only denim brand in North India to own a state-of-the-art plant in Gurgaon and Dehradun. Over the years, we have been able to create a good base of loyal customers, so we do not feel competition is eating away our share. The denim market is growing at a fast pace and so are we, across various distribution channels such as EBOs, MBOs, LFS and e-commerce. The markets in tier-II and III cities are still untapped to a great extent. This is where we are expanding more.

Our long experience with Indian customers has given us an edge in creating styles and fits that go well with the Indian body type and taste. India is only inspired by the West; it is not blindly following Western fashion and we have been quite accurate in striking the balance between the two in our collections. We take pride in the environment-friendly techniques that we adopt while making denims. Our washing know-how has been adopted from Jeanologia (from Spain), experts in denim technology.

Our denims are high on quality and constantly deliver value to our customers. The focus is not at beating our competitors but to keep improving our offerings and accessibility.|

According to you, which denim brand could be your potential competition?


How has the response been from tier-II cities? Tell us about your future plans.

The response from tier-II cities has been great so far. Both metros and non-metros have proved equally lucrative and we are focusing on both the markets.

Do you franchise? Out of your total store count, how many are franchised?

We are retailing through the franchising route and we enjoy a good network of franchisee stores. Franchising helps us to expand faster with low capital investment. About 80 per cent of our EBOs are franchisee stores.

What kind of franchise arrangement do you share with your franchisors? What are the criteria for choosing an ideal franchisee?

A carpet area of 600 sq.ft., and initial capital investment of Rs. 25 lakh are required to set up a store. Fifty per cent of this amount goes into stocks and the rest for furnishing the store. The franchisee needs to purchase the stock from us on outright basis. The rentals are also borne by the franchisee.

The margin varies from 25 to 40 per cent. Most of our stores are profitable since we believe in quality rather than quantity.

Please provide details of your customer loyalty programme (if any). What is the contribution of the Loyalty Club towards sales?

We have three categories of loyal members – Classic, Silver and Gold. Seventy per cent of the sales comes from loyal customers.

Share your perspective about the e-retailing market of India. Also tell us about your product portfolio.

Although we practice hybrid retailing, we also try to offer different range online in order to prevent cannibalisation. It is a market reality but the retailers need to be careful while maintaining a healthy mix of both brick-n-mortar and e-commerce.

E-commerce companies are proliferating and have made products accessible to remote areas too. It makes the brand accessible to the aspiring customers. The disposable incomes in smaller towns have increased; customers here are now informed; they are aware of what to buy and from where. The changes happening around and the penetration of the Internet fuelled by cheaper smart phones and low data charges have put power in the hands of these consumers. They are on the lookout for quality branded products online.

The e-commerce section is bound to grow and we had realised the potential of the e-commerce space pretty early. We were quick enough to get on to the online medium, which immediately gave us a pan-India presence. We are already driving sales on Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, etc. We are also revamping our own e-store, which will go live soon. Our accessories like shoes, belts, etc. are a hit on e-commerce portals.
Our maximum business comes from the apparel category.

Are you planning to enter any other category in near future?

We are in the lifestyle segment and do not wish to divert our focus.

Please tell us about your best performing stores (EBOs) and also name the large format stores that fetch you the maximum sales.

Some of our best performing stores are in Rajeev Chowk (Delhi), Kataria Chowk (Gurgaon), Great India Place (Noida), Janakpuri (Delhi), Seasons Mall (Pune), etc.

In LFS, our best performing stores are Shoppers Stop at WTP (Jaipur), GIP (Noida), and MGF (Gurgaon).

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