Da Milano, one of India’s leading luxury accessory brands, started its journey from a few SKU’s of leather accessories and has today a one-stop destination for all affordable luxury leather retail products. The brand will be completing 30 successful years in India in the year 2019 and its journey is nothing short of entrepreneurial excellence and astute retail sense.
According to Sahil Malik, Managing Director, Da Milano, “We have traversed more than a quarter century innovating products and meeting customer aspirations with designs that have utility, and provide all leather accessory needs of a discerning client.”
“From clutch to sling bags for ladies, from wallets to differentiated computer bags, from leather accessories to leather luggage, from a simple designer belt to a leather jacket, from a perfectly crafted hand bag, each product is designed blending innovative craftsmanship with automation. Innovative service delivery is at the heart of Da Milano retail,” he adds.
Evolving Indian Luxury Market
As the industry has evolved over the years, where luxury and quality satisfaction is more in demand than ever, the demand for Da Milano products has also increased with each progressing year.
Sharing the reason behind increasing demand of luxury products, Malik says, “Over the years Da Milano has observed that handbags have moved from being an accessory in wardrobe to becoming the brand with badge value in last 30 years. Handbags are today vanity showcases and a means to express individuality in world of fast fashion where apparel has become more monochromatic, fashion trend changes far more frequent and branding is the key driver instead of wardrobe price or quality. Last but not the least, market size has grown multiple times over last three decades with each customer carrying multiple handbags to suit multiple occasions.”
And to cash on this evolving luxury market, the brand will soon be launching new product categories like Spectacle Covers which double up as bag charms and GPS and Smartphone lock enabled travel products.
The Brand’s USP
Growing drastically in length and breadth, Da Milano has ensured its presence in every distinguished mall and high-street present in the country. The key differentiators that pronounce the brand’s success are the blend in the array of design with craftsmanship optimally styled and finished with state-of-art machinery; meet customer aspiration of product utility with style and finesse. Also, delivering of front-end service with an ethos that has customer orientation to explain every feature and product detail to the customer.
The brand has a versatile range for both men and women. It is for fashion-focused people, for young women, smart executives, at leisure travelers, and senior citizens. In short from apparel, to bags to accessories, the range takes care of all leather fashion needs of all between the age groups of 14 to 75 years.
“A change in profile of the customer, in different seasons or otherwise is therefore no challenge for us. Rather it is an opportunity to duck seasonal vagaries and bolster sale. We are quick on turn out time for a range,” explains Malik.
The brand chooses location for every store with care, a place that has high traffic count – malls, high streets and even airports. However, malls afford a more family experience and makes it very easy for customers to shop across brands in the same category and compare to make a wise choice.
“Developing and growing retail operations at high footfall locations is about customer profiling, events, product range that blends with customer aspirations and about quick adaptation of seasonal variation and customer requirement. High footfall areas are profiled for customers and their aspirations, their feedback is quickly translated by design and the production team to roll out products at optimum price points,” asserts Malik.
He further adds, “Shop-in-shops is still not in the retail strategy of the brand as far as the Indian market goes, but we are open to the idea of a franchising model overseas.”
With an aggressive expansion in every metropolitan as well as Tier I and Tier II cities, the brand is taking a great leap towards success. At present, the brand is present in all A-grade locations in best malls of Tier I and II cities, airports and high streets of Delhi and Mumbai.
Elaborating on this, Malik says, “Our average store size is about 300 sq. ft. and we have 80 EBOs including 15 at top Indian airports along with four international outlets.”
The bridge-to-luxury brand has company owned company operated stores in India and UAE and franchisee operated stores in all other international territories.
“UK (London), Singapore, Thailand, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Nepal and Kuwait are amongst the new countries we are exploring,” reveals Malik.
“Transit retail is our fastest growing segment and contributes to about 30 percent of our overall revenue. Globally, we are exploring distribution with Duty Free setups at Dubai, Bahrain, Thailand and a retail touch point at Changi Airport in Singapore,” he adds.
As far as the Indian market is concerned, the brand is looking forward to open standalone stores at Aerocity (Delhi), VR Malls across Chennai and Surat, Phoenix Mall at Lucknow and transit retail outlets at Hyderabad and Kochi airports.
Apart from this, the brand is also laying emphasis on expanding online reach. Currently, online contributes 5-6 percent of the overall revenue.
“This fiscal end, we are eyeing a revenue of Rs 3 crore and as the market is slowly moving online, we are paying a careful attention to this channel,” Malik conlcudes.