After gaining expertise, experience and understanding in the complexities of retail business Ashish Saboo, CEO and Director, Addons, ventured into creating his own chain of retail stores through twin retail concepts – Addons Women and Addons Men, offering customers a wide range of products and an international shopping experience. Sabbo shares what inspired him to develop the brand in an exclusive interview with Images Business of Fashion.
In an increasingly saturated market, finding a niche in fashion has never been more important. As a brand you have to have an idea of how you are going to be different; why your brand is special; how your collection will solve a problem. Addons Retail Private Limited is one such company which recognised a niche in the fashion market. The company was incorporated in 1999 with the prime objective of creating value in retail. The company ventured into retailing of lifestyle products through reputed and popular international and national brands in western India. After gaining understanding of the complexities of retail business, it ventured into creating its own chain of retail stores through its twin retail concepts – Addons Women and Addons Men.
Ashish Saboo, CEO and Director, Addons shares what inspired him to develop the brand in an exclusive interview. He defines by saying, “Having been associated with the fashion business for over two decades, we sensed a vacuum in the fashion accessories market in India and consumers desire to buy good quality fashionable accessories. We also studied various successful international brands and combining this with our knowledge of the Indian consumer, we created ‘Addons’. The core ethos of our brand is accessories. Our products are aimed at being trendy, best in quality and are meant to provide optimal value to the consumer.”
Excerpts from the interview
Addons retail format was new concept in the market and no examples to follow; what were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Ashish Saboo (AS): Yes, it was an extremely challenging business model with no benchmark. We had to start right from branding to merchandise and positioning of the product. With a deep understanding of the Indian market and its potential in fashion accessories business we quickly became successful. This has happened based on our experience and with a strong dedicated team.
What is the size and growth potential of the accessory segment in India?
AS: The accessories segment is highly unorganised in India. The market size is over Rs. 20,000 crore. With the change in demographics and increasing aspiration, the market size is estimated to double by 2020.
What has been your positioning? With the growing maturity of the brand do you plan make a shift in your positioning?
AS: Addons is positioned as one stop fashion accessories destination. We are the only brand that does well co-ordinated collection of bags, footwear and fashion jewellery, which has been the USP of Addons. With the growing fashion consciousness in the market, we as a company will enhance our merchandise and keep building the aspirational vale for Addons.
Tell us about your product portfolio for both men and women? What is the ratio you maintain between both the portfolios?
AS: Addons 90 percent of sales touch point is for women. In this we have hand bags, footwear, fashion jewellery, hair accessories, scarves and sunglasses. In men we have ties, belts, wallets, caps and sunglasses.
Any exciting plans for the brand or new products that we can look forward to seeing this year?
AS: As a commitment to being a trendy brand, we are always excited with newer products that we introduce. This year we are focusing on increasing our collection size in women handbags and footwear.
Kindly share your retail footprint across India? What are you key important markets?
AS: We currently have 40 exclusive brand outlets (EBO) and 65 shop-in-shop (SIS). Our key markets are west, south and east India.
How many more stores are you planning in the near future?
AS: Addons has a plan to open some 75 new EBOs by March 2017.
What is the average investment for your store? What are the pre-requisitions for a franchisee?
AS: We normally choose the franchisee route which can give an extension to my brand. We take utmost care in appointing a new business partner. Association with passionate people who align to our vision is what we look for in appointing a new franchisee.
And how is your presence with large format stores or even multi-brand outlets?
AS: We are available from select large format stores (LFS) and are in process of increasing our presence. We are also present in leading regional MBOs.
Are you present internationally?
AS: We are currently not present internationally. But in the coming years the brand has strong potential to go international.
What has been your progress online and what are your future expansion plans?
AS: Addons retails through leading portals like Myntra, Jabong, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Limeroad and is listed with a total number of 14 portals.
What are some of the highlights in Addons for the upcoming autumn-winter 2015?
AS: This season, Addons is fascinated by the modern woman and how she lives through the decades, changing and evolving with the ebb and flow of times and fashion. We’re stepping into the enticing world of elegance, lightness and stylised flair, epitomised by the neo-classical design elements.
Addons has come up with a plethora of accessories from amazing handbags, trendy footwear, jewellery and much more.
The collection encapsulates an array of old classic inspired designs which are reminiscent of 70’s fashion. The collection boasts of popular trends like Marsala in colour, laser cuts, metallic, sheer, shimmer and lace. The collection also promises to offer a wide compilation of discerning and beautiful range of signature accessories. Addons gratifies shoe lovers by involving trendy yet classy shoes right from stilettos to ballerinas in this autumn-winter ’15 collection. The auspicious jewellry to be featured in this collection shall comprise statement pieces and minimalistic designs to add elegance to your daily endeavours. We have also added some dazzling headgears to their collection to create a contemporary vibe. Addons has upped its game in the bag space by adding modified version of functional backpacks, trendy totes, hobo bags, quilted and sequin patterns in bags.
Tell us about the competition you face from other brands?
AS: There is a huge gap in the organised accessories segment which is yet to be addressed. Addons has a unique identity today in the Indian accessories market which goes beyond any competition.
What has been your current turnover?
AS: The company’s current turnover is Rs. 30 crore.
Kindly share your anticipated growth and vision for the next few years?
AS: Our vision is to become one of the most aspiring brand in the fashion accessories segment. We plan to be a 500 crores brand by 2020 and available through 1,000+ sales touch points.