Lacoste had a slow growth in the fiscal year 2014-15. However, it has ambitious plans for 2015-16, and the brand is looking to double the store count in the country in another five years. Rajesh Jain, MD and CEO of Lacoste India, discusses the company's strategies and expansion plans in detail in an interview with Fibre2Fashion.com
What are the strategies to double the number of stores in five years?
We have a policy of selective distribution network. Considering the location, target profile, neighbouring brands, reach and brand positioning, we evaluate each new door carefully. We look at how premium the location is, adjacencies, etc, before we take a decision on opening a new door. With the successful establishment of a hub-and-spoke model in key cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, we have penetrated the market well with one or two big boutiques surrounded by medium-sized POS (point of sale) outlets. Apart from major cities, we are targeting tier II cities like Ludhiana, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Jalandhar, Jaipur and Pune where we have examined the behavioural and buying patterns of residents and have successfully established POS. We are evaluating opening more doors in these major cities, and are also keenly watching new developments in selective tier II cities for future expansion.
Please share details of fiscal 2014-15 and expectations from fiscal 2015-16, and the coming five fiscals in terms of growth percentage, turnover, etc.
We had doubled the number of POS in the preceding four years (till March 2014). In the preceding three years, we grew by over 100 per cent in sales revenue. We decided to go a little slow in our expansion for the financial year 2014-15 because of the sluggish economy and heavy discounting by e-commerce portals. Currently, we have a growth rate of 25 per cent CAGR. We plan to hit 50 POS by the end of this fiscal, and plan to double our turnover in the next 4-5years.
What is the demand for your products in terms of geography, age, product, etc? Which products do you target for store expansion?
Globally, Lacoste believes in propagating the same brand values and virtues everywhere in the world, maintaining the presence of the brand and its deliveries. In India, we follow the same strategy where we provide the same ambience and experience to customers. As far as products are concerned, since Lacoste is known globally as a complete lifestyle brand, distribution and retail always count as a major parameter. We try to ensure that customers get the best ensemble of the brand products in each and every POS, thus enhancing their trust in the brand and the POS. Apparel continues to be our largest selling category, followed by footwear and fragrances. Bags and leather goods is another category, which is growing at a fast rate.
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