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‘The last fiscal year marked India as the fastest growing market for Celio*’

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Celio*, a leading menswear brand, was founded by Maurice Grosman and his wife in 1985 in France. Interestingly, Celio* began as a women’s ready-to-wear boutique, CLEO 3000. Grosman soon realised that the menswear segment was a more lucrative business in Paris and changed his target audience, rechristening the brand, Celio*.

His sons, Marc and Laurent Grosman, joined their father in the business and thus began the era of expansion. A second store came up in Paris in 1981, and a third followed quickly. Today, the retail-driven company has more than 500 stores in France, including its headquarters, and 1,140 stores in more than 50 other countries.

Celio* offers a complete wardrobe of effortless fashion for today’s active and urban men through four fashion lines – essentials, casual, denim and smart – including shoes and accessories.

It works towards bringing in contemporary fashion at amazing prices, thus not only appealing to the conventional style seekers but also progressive consumers. And it’s not just great designs that are responsible for the brand’s growth in India. Over the years, Celio* has also innovated in several diverse aspects directed at building a better business as well as creating a more socially accountable organisation – all of which up its appeal for the Indian consumer.

“Celio* has grown consistently over the last nine years, with the last fiscal year marking India as the brand’s fastest growing market. The brand stands for high-quality fashion merchandise offered at very sharp price points, making it an attractive proposition for today’s discerning male consumer. This has also helped us garner a huge fan base from conventional style seekers while also appealing to the progressive consumers,” says Satyen P Momaya, CEO, Celio* Future Fashion Pvt. Ltd. India.

Milestone Moments in India

2008 – Celio* launches first store in India

2011 – The brand crosses 100 doors in India across channels and completes 1,000 stores globally

2017 – 2018 Celio* goes Omnichannel and with the change in the business operating model and increased investments, it helps increase the footprint by 107 doors in just one year and increase the number of cities presence to 121 from 90 with 500+ employees.

2018 – The brand continues to witness aggressive expansion both in terms of footprints as well as increased level of consumer engagement

Expansion & Engagement

Last year Celio* India embarked on making some big changes in the operating model to support its ambitious growth plans, to strengthen both the retail footprint as well as local operations. While earlier the brand operated through EBOs, online stores and Shop-in-Shop formats, a year ago they introduced the master franchise model in the country. It currently has 310 (and growing) points-of-sale in India.

“We also have started our SIS presence in regional multi brand outlets along with strengthening our presence in large format stores including department stores like Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop, Central and Pantaloons – all this in concurrence with our online presence on all leading e-commerce portals of the nation,” says Momaya.

To support the aggressive footprint expansion across channels and to continue to drive productivity in the existing business, the brand also stepped up its engagement with consumers, while strengthening its team by attracting some of the top retail talent in the country.

While the brand is pursuing an aggressive expansion policy in India, Momaya is quick to admit that the top five metro cities in India are the biggest contributors of revenue for the brand – nearly 70 percent – and online currently rakes in 10 percent of the revenue, but the medium is experiencing fast growth.

However, he adds, “With disposable income growing and with digital breaking all boundaries, consumers across cities are becoming more and more aware of the global trends in fashion and hence brands like us who believe in launching any new innovation and global fits across all markets /cities see a huge opportunity. Our recent expansion and entry into 24 new cities –primarily Tier II & III cities and towns – has received an outstanding response. We are bullish on growth in Tier II & III and will continue to push growth here.”

Despite its expansion plans into Tier II & III cities and towns, the brand will focus on opening stores in malls. It is also in the process of increasing its India sourcing from the current 40 percent to 50 percent+ in the next season. Last year, Celio* recorded double digit like-to-like growth and is trading even better this financial year, as per Momaya.

“We have been present in France for more than three decades now and are market leaders in the country and thus have a larger high street presence in that country. In India on the other hand, we are primarily present in malls and this will continue to be our location focus. We will of course look towards upping our presence in established high streets in India as well, but Celio* as a brand feels that India does not have many high streets which have been able to reinvent themselves keeping changing consumer requirements in mind,’ says Momaya.

Customer is King, Product is Core

All of the brand’s stores rely heavily on visual merchandising to attract consumers.

“We provide a complete wardrobe solution for men with a Celio* twist and hence it’s very important we showcase the key looks to the consumers. Visual merchandising plays a vital role in this,” says Momaya.

He says the brand has a team of visual merchandising specialists which works across stores and also for Celio* shop-in-shops. “Their aim is to bring the product to life by providing a consistent consumer experience,” explains Momaya.

The brand has also adopted a healthy Omnichannel strategy towards a better consumer experience. “We use the rich data and analytical insights to constantly improve our merchandise assortment and devise customized marketing communication through both traditional and new age mediums. For supporting our store staff, we have enabled the ‘inventory one view’. We have also empowered our associates with ‘save the sale’ and enabled ‘click-and-collect’ options for consumers – all this to deliver a better shopping experience to the consumer,” shares Momaya.

Celio* as a company is of the opinion that its biggest strength is product. The brand believes the key to unlock growth in India is to create the right emotional triggers for the consumer using product to build awareness and aspiration.

“We have ensured all our communications are rooted in product – something which has sat well with consumers resulting in a positive impact on the draw to our stores. We also understand the need to strike a balance in using traditional and new age mediums to engage consumers, so where we have simple consumer loyalty programs, we also have gamification to engage our patrons,” states Momaya.

One innovative digital campaign launched was the Celio* Fantastic Football League whereby members played a game in order to win various promotional offers at stores. The program crossed 70 lakh+ impressions and broke all previous engagement records.

Celio also has its own loyalty program called the Celio Fantastic Program with a base of 4 lakhs+ members. A lot of marketing activities are undertaken on a targeted basis by crunching huge amounts of data to understand each customer. On the basis of data analytics, dynamic customer segments are created to identify various cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

In addition to these platforms press relations form an integral part of the marketing strategy. By constantly doing fashion events with the fashion media, bloggers and various celebrity stylists, Celio ensures a healthy top of mind recall among the influencer segment.

On the basis of this consumer engagement, Momaya is confident that Celio* India will be the fastest growing subsidiary of the brand in the next five years. “In the next three to four years, we expect it to be the third largest subsidiary of the 50+ countries Celio* is present in. In the next five years, the brand will continue to expand its footprint in India both – online and offline.”

“We will continue to build stronger engagement with existing consumers and also aggressively acquire new consumers. We would like to be the brand of choice with the partners we operate with and also be the employer of choice,” concludes Momaya.

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