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Arvind gung-ho on 'Smart Casual' clothing

18
Sep '10
Mr Rishi Vasudev
With growing salaries and a more disposable income to boot, Indian males are now becoming more lifestyle conscious in their clothing preferences and waiting to take advantage of these are the biggest apparel retailers in India are the likes of Arvind Brands and Madura Garments.

The segment is 'Lifestyle Sportswear'. These retailers are exploring spaces hitherto occupied by global brands like, Nike, Puma, Reebok and Adidas, however, minus the lifestyle tag. Arvind has launched lifestyle sportswear brands like Arrow Sport, US Polo and Gant.

Lifestyle sportswear category is growing at a blistering rate of around 100 percent; year-on-year and accounts for a good chunk of the garment retail sector and clothing retailers are firing from all cylinders in a bid to capture a larger slice of this high-growth segment.

For instance, premium menswear brand Arrow, from Arvind has 'Arrow Sport' which has posted a growth of 50 percent and has also been clocking a CAGR of 35 percent, since the last three years and in the process, has also outperformed the mother brand in terms of growth.

Arvind also has in its stable, the mid-premium American brand 'US Polo', whose sales are expected to touch Rs 500 million in the current fiscal year, with a target to reach Rs one billion in the next three years by expanding the reach of the brand.

One more brand in the super-premium segment sportswear lifestyle from Arvind is Gant, whose range is priced between Rs 3,500 and Rs 9,000. In order to bring a clear picture to our readers with regards to the potential of this very promising segment, Fibre2fashion spoke to Mr Rishi Vasudev, Vice-President and Business Head of Arrow brand.

We began by asking him about the market share of lifestyle sportswear segment in global apparel market, to which he said, “Lifestyle sportswear segment is there from quite sometime and is not something new and lies in between formal wear and the casual wear.

“A lot of people prefer to dress in these types of clothing towards the end of the week and also office goers who are not interacting face to face with their customers, like to don lifestyle sportswear as it also gives a casual look, which can also be called 'Smart Casual'. There are lots of big brands like Tommy Hilfiger, which are focusing on this kind of clothing, around the world.”

When quizzed about the market potential that he foresees for this particular segment, particularly in the Indian context, he replied by saying, “Casuals are fun clothing and formals are strictly for work. Smart casuals are something that can be worn to office as well as be a casual wear, for which, the market is rapidly evolving.

“Most of the large brands, which fill up the lifestyle space like Arrow, are expanding firmly into sports. Arrow Sports has been present in the market for quite sometime and in recent years, has grown very well. The very same customers, who were buyingArrow, are now looking at buying Arrow Sport.”

We concluded this very informative chat by asking him about the products that make up the sportswear lifestyle category and the pricing, to which he informed, “Shirts, Trousers, T-Shirts, Jackets, Unlined Jackets and Denims. The pricing of this segment is in line with Arrow formals neither higher nor lower. An Arrow Sports shirt is typically priced in the range of Rs 1,400-2000.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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