2018 saw the comeback of sports brands, both globally and in India, due to the shift in consumer preference towards sports inspired athleisure clothing. A key player in the Indian market, Italian sports and fashion brand FILA has planned to capitalize on this trend and strengthen its presence in the country with an aggressive expansion strategy. The brand is projecting sales to grow more than 50 percent by the end of this financial year.
As part of the new Heritage Store format, FILA has been opening one store a month and expects to keep this momentum going in 2019. The next 3 months will see stores coming up in Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Baroda and Chennai among other cities. The focus will be skewed largely towards FILA Heritage format stores, driving fashion lifestyle imagery in the premium sportswear segment with a global Heritage collection across footwear, apparel and accessories.
Aside from main metros and mini metros, FILA has set its sights on the North Indian market with a focus across Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, and the entire region of Punjab; followed by South India. While company owned stores will be the primary objective, the brand is identifying some key partners to pursue a franchise model.
Maintaining uniformity across layout and design, the average store size is expected to be between 1,000-1,200 sq.ft carpet area with larger flagship locations in metros.
Speaking on the strategy, Rakesh Singh Kathayat, Chief Operating Officer, Cravatex Brands said, “The resurgence of sportswear in mainstream fashion is the most relevant conversation in the industry today, particularly among millennials & Gen Z. FILA’s retro aesthetic and nostalgia-tinged DNA has thus, gained relevance and this conversation has supplemented its evolution into a sports fashion label. While we’re steadily making this progression in perception, supplementing consumer demand with supply is the need of the hour. Our offline retail growth in India focuses on strengthening our pan-India presence to create easier access and increased engagement with our growing consumer base.”
FILA India is a licensee held by Cravatex Brands Ltd which is a part of the Batra Group, a global Retail, Brand Licensing, Distribution and Sourcing company with a presence across the Indian Subcontinent, United Kingdom, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.