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J Suresh says Arvind Lifestyle Brands will now consolidate its position in the Indian market

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India’s leading textile to retail conglomerate, Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited, is looking forward to consolidate its position in the Indian market.
In an interview with Indiaretailing, Managing Director & CEO, Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited, J Suresh said, “At this stage, we have a fairly huge portfolio of brands. So, now we are looking at consolidation but definitely if there is an opportunity and there is a market need then we will look at new brands. But right now, there are no such plans to add any new brand to our portfolio.”
Last year, Arvind, which sells foreign labels such as Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Ed Hardy, added four more brands to its portfolio—GAP, Aeropostale, Sephora and The Children’s Place.
Talking about these brands, Suresh said, “We launched four brands last year. Two of these brands are doing extremely well and the other two are doing reasonably well.”
He further added, “It is not a uniform performance across all the brands but overall we as a company have delivered 25 per cent plus growth last year which I think is quite significant considering the industry has not been delivering that type of a growth last year.”
Arvind Limited also launched its ready-to-wear brand, Arvind Store, in April. The ready-to-wear brand consists of products which offers athletic leisure as a trend along with a technologically enabled bi-stretch super light outwears in both formal and ceremonial categories.
“Arvind Store is a combination of readymade and ready to stitch. The brand has been performing quite well particularly in smaller towns. Currently, we have 180 stores and planning to open 20-25 stores by end of this fiscal,” revealed Suresh.
Omnichannel Is The Buzz Word
As Omnichannel has opened a bag full of opportunities for the retailers, Arvind Lifestyle Brands is also providing a similar experience to its customers be it online or offline.
Explaining this, J Suresh revealed, “A customer can buy products online and pick them up from the store. And when the consumer goes to the store and if a particular size is not available then through our PoS (Point of Sale), we can assist and point him to the nearest store that has the size. The customer can then either customer can go and pick it from that particular store or we can have the goods delivered to his doorstep. These are some of the Omnichannel experiences that we are providing.”
Financial Results
Arvind Ltd had reported a marginal decline of 0.92 per cent in consolidated net profit to Rs 96.92 crore for the fourth quarter ended March, on account of higher expenses.
The company had posted a net profit of Rs 97.82 crore for the same period of previous fiscal.
Its total income during the period under review stood at Rs 2,493.19 crore as against Rs 2,251.87 crore in the year-ago quarter, up 10.71 per cent, Arvind Ltd said in a BSE filing.
Arvind Ltd’s expenses in the fourth quarter of 2016-17 were at Rs 2,375.41 crore, up 11.56 per cent as compared to Rs 2,129.13 crore in the corresponding period of last year.
In a separate filing, Arvind Ltd said it plans to raise up to Rs 500 crore through issuance of non-convertible debentures on a private placement basis.
The Board of Directors of the company have recommended a dividend of Rs 2.40 per equity share for the year ended on March 31, 2017.
India Fashion Forum 2017
J Suresh, who is also the the Chairman of IFF 2017, in his welcome address highlighted the momentum that the fashion retail market has gathered in the recent years and advised all stakeholders to stay focussed on the progress and changes.
“India is the world’s fastest growing major fashion market and is populated by the demanding, aspirational, globally-connected and the emerging living-for-now consumers. The success formula, is to stay focussed to take advantage of this growing market,” he said.
The success of the fashion industry, especially in contemporary times, is pivoted mainly on two things — technology and sustainability. International retail bigwigs are already working on these two areas and the Indian retailers should also start imbibing this in their business models.
J Suresh further elaborated upon his thoughts on the ABCD for success in the fashion industry — Analytics, Buy Now, Compliance, and Digital.
Analytics: It is extremely important for a brand to know about the consumer, understand their needs, what is selling in the market and align their modus operandi in compliance of these findings. The data should be more research oriented rather than based on emotions or gut feeling.
Buy Now: Brands should focus more on cutting down the total turnaround cycle and tweaking their supply chain in a manner that the consumers can see and are able to buy at the same time. Longer cycles of 6-9 months are out and are definitely not going to work in the current competitive scenario.
Compliance: Compliance towards sustainability, both environmental and social has now become imperative for any brand or its business. Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword; it is now an expected standard, so recognising the rise of eco-efficiency is crucial.
Digital: Technology is now the biggest ally in meeting the expectations of today’s digitally-powered fashion consumer. Be it physical retail or online, businesses which are lagging behind in embracing this new change.
(With inputs from Gurbir Singh Gulati)

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