From what I know, Alcis is present more as shop-in-shops than as EBOs. How much has this been determined by market compulsions? In other words, are consumers more likely to buy your kind of products from large format stores than EBOs? A corollary to this might be that Alcis is yet to establish itself as a brand with high memory recall, and therefore a consumer will not be looking for your exclusive outlets. Comments?
We initially started as an online-only presence because of the scalability that the online channel offers so that we could launch and expand quickly. Post our initial success in the online model, we have been really aggressive on the offline front as well and now have presence in almost all large format retail outlets. This year we have opened four retail stores, first one being opened at Kochi and then Guwahati, Mumbai and the recent one in Delhi. As you can see, we have been taking a step-by-step approach of increasing our footprint and sales channels. I don't agree that a consumer is not looking for our exclusive outlet, because the traction and response we have seen in our own outlets tells a different story. We have definitely managed to generate a recall for the brand among discerning consumers through our sustained marketing and brand building efforts and are very proud of the niche we have created in the market in a relatively short span of time.
What has been your overall footprint so far? What are your immediate expansion plans? [You will need to elaborate here, especially the 'why' part] What has been your performance on the shopping portals so far? Can you share trends and numbers?
Currently, Alcis Sports has 150 shop-in-shops already operational in the large-format outlets like Globus, Shoppers Stop, Sports Station and Central. We are also present in 700-odd retail outlets across India and in the coming year, are looking at increasing the spread to tier II and III towns where our total retail strength will cross the 2,000 store mark. We also have exclusive outlets in five cities-Kochi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Delhi and Jaipur, and are looking at such exclusive outlets in 15 cities by December 2018. In the online format, Alcis is present in all of the leading websites. The traction we have seen from the shopping portals has been nothing short of fantastic, and on an average, we sell around 10,000 articles every month through the online format.
You got an investment from RB Investment in January. To go with your expansion plans, what amount are you planning to raise over the next 3-5 years?
We are expected to invest between ₹20 crore and ₹25 crore in this financial year, and we should be profitable. At this moment, it would be too premature for us to comment on the funding plans for the next 3-5 years.
Please tell us more about your Wonder Tee, and how it fits into your scheme of things.
The idea for our Wonder Tee and Wonder Polo range was born from the growing need of making environment-friendly products. Plastic waste and the toxins associated with it is a real issue confronting all of us. Generally, t-shirts are made of polyester-a man-made fibre, production of which involves huge quantities of water, chemicals and use of fossil fuels; moreover, the raw materials and by-products are toxic and it pollutes water and air, causing several health hazards. On the other hand, we thought of using R-PET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) for our Wonder Tee and Wonder Polo range, which is a strong, durable and recyclable material used for soda bottles, water bottles, food jars etc, making it an environment-friendly, cost-effective and safe product that also performs better than 100 per cent virgin polyester.
Using recycled material is one thing and creating textile waste is quite another. Do you have any thoughts about how you are going to exhort consumers to reduce their waste (be it through reduce/ reuse/recycle) w.r.t Alcis products?
Alcis Sports is committed to being a green company. We certainly are looking to grow the R-PET apparel category by 4-5 times by 2020 by creating awareness among people. We are heavily promoting our Wonder Tee and Wonder Polo range and will look at intensifying our marketing efforts in order to make more and more people aware of this wonderful product.
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