Over the last decade, the accessory market in India has grown considerably, given that fashion accessories are no longer just extra buys in comparison to apparel. A wide range of products like bags, wallets, belts, jewellery, watches etc have transformed from need-based products to a want-based products, leading accessories to become a significant part of the retail fashion segment.
Betting big on this ever-growing demand for accessories, Kompanero started its journey from Bengaluru in 2014 and since then there has been no looking back for the brand.
According to Indranath Sengupta, Director, Kompanero, the brand has come a long way in just a few years’ time.
“We have spread our wings and flown far west to Australia where Kompanero has achieved quite a cult following. We are proud to say we are available in more than 250 stores in Australia, and the brand is flying off the shelves faster than we can make accessories. We have also been building up a steady presence across the high streets of UK.”
Internationally, the brand is available in Korea, Japan and Canada and has recently also entered into the US market.
“Closer home we have a network of 25 stores across the length and breadth of India,” he states.
Nationally, the brand has stores in Tier I cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai in Tier II cities such as Coimbatore and Indore.
Tier I and metro cities are the major markets for Kompenaro since the customer profile of the brand comprises of middle-aged, travelling professionals with the sensibility of vintage yet contemporary fashion and appreciate artisanship.
“Generally, our customers are 27 years upwards. They are doctors, corporate directors, creative artists, designers and other accomplished professionals with a taste for vintage,” says Sengupta.
Apart from this, the brand is also focusing on tapping Millennials. It is planning to introduce products like slim wallets to cater to the younger customers who are going minimalistic.
“We have more such innovative small leather goods lined up for 2019. These are easy on the pocket too for Millennials who are studying or in early stages of their career,” he says.
Sengupta says the brand prefers a combination of high streets and malls as that’s where its customer segment is. “Malls give us the advantage of footfalls whereas high-streets give us the ability to create that in-store experience we aspire to reach. We also love airports since our customers are folks who travel a lot and so we consciously focus on airport stores,” Sengupta adds.
Apart from physical presence, the brand is also available on own e-commerce website, Amazon, Myntra and Jabong.
“Online business is the fastest growing area at the moment and we are quite focused on different digital marketing strategies to create brand awareness and increase overall sales,” says Sengupta.
Kompanero as a brand brings real vintage appeal, craftsmanship and sustainability for the customers. The product portfolio of the brand comprises of leather goods like sling bags, backpacks, portfolio bags, messenger bags, travel bags and wallets.
“We are a complete leather vintage lifestyle brand. This year we have also diversified into footwear and jackets. Soon we are going to introduce a range of full leather trolleys, some of which will be imported from Italy,” reveals Sengupta.
“As we focus a lot on handcrafting and artisanship, the labour costs are really high. However, we want to remain competitive in the leather accessories market hence the products are modestly priced to our competitors in this category. Average selling price of our brand is Rs 6,000-7,000,” he adds.
Kompanero is also branching out to offer customers products that are sustainable, vegan, made from natural/ organic products, which are environment friendly. Their bags are made from naturally tanned leather, which is all the rage these days. The brand believes that customers have now become more conscious about the products they are investing in and hence there has been an increase in demand for eco-friendly products.
The leather products brand is looking to take the total store count to 100 by 2025.
“In December 2018, we are scheduled to launch EBOs at Guwahati airport, Chandigarh airport, Chennai Express Avenue, R City Mumbai and 2 more stores,” says Sengupta.
“The average size of our stores is 500 sq. ft. with the largest store being over 1,000 sq. ft. In India, all our stores are company-owned, whereas outside India, we sell via multi-brand outlets and boutiques,” he concludes.