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Wills Lifestyle mirrors wardrobe of Indian fashionistas

Oct '08
ITC Wills Lifestyle has been established itself as a vibrant fashion brand that offers a complete lifestyle wardrobe for the premium consumer, incorporating the latest fashion trends for both men and women.

The brand has planned to open 100 stand alone stores to make its presence felt in the 40 cities with in the span of next two years.

Mr Atul Chand, Divisional Chief Executive, Wills Lifestyle Retailing Business Division, shared the tale of its journey to the zenith with Fibre2fashion. “Our entry in India happened in the year 2000. People at that time were mainly focusing on category brand or gender brands; we came out with a brand mirroring the wardrobe of Indian consumer mainly into men, women segment separately. We created a national network, with exclusive stores in 30 cities. Right from day one, we were an established premium brand. And that's how we started off.

“During that time when various companies were concentrating on multi-brand stores we focused on exclusive retail chains. In the last five 6 years, we have matured significantly. Our growth rates have surged over 25 percent. The journey, I can say was very rewarding. Strategically we have the right positioning, right approach in the premium segment.

“We also sponsor wills life style fashion week, the premier fashion event of India. Designers from across the country can showcase their creativity. We have also taken the initiative to tie up with the designers like Manish Arora, Ashish Soni, to create special collections to satisfy our consumers. Our main aim is to make the designer attire more accessible, affordable and wearable. 10 – 15 percent of our sale comes from designer wear and we are sure its going to increase.”

Talking about changing customer beheaviour, Mr Chand said, “Earlier in India, buyers were conscious about the price tags. However in the recent years consumers have become more aesthetic lead, more design lead, people are willing to spend more if they are getting some thing innovative and different. Customers have evolved in the fashion sense; they are more experimentative now. People are changing wardrobe more often. Number of units in ones wardrobe has increased.”

Discussing about the global financial meltdown Divisional Chief Executive stated, “Every body is getting affected by this recession. But, Not every body will get affected equally. The fundamental of our company is quite strong. I believe the more super premium you are, the less you get affected; the higher valued you are, the less you get affected. Our economy is growing, and India is a young demographic country, that is why the retail sector will never have a negative impact.”

“We are into specialty retail dealing in apparel and apparel accessories, with stores spanning around 2000-3000 sq feet area. We are going to open premium stores in tier II and III cities like Raipur, Surat and Siliguri very soon. We are planning to work with local franchises to understand local preferences, making collections for people living in these small cities. People can have great retail experience in our stores. We want people to create a bond with the brand. We are also tying up with Milan based Ricardo Rami Design Studio, and FRCH, the US based Design Company, to come up with new concept stores. With this we anticipate to grow around 20 percent with the men's brand and 30 percent for female's brand in the coming days,” said Mr Atul Chand disclosing the strategy for capturing the market.

“We see ourselves as one of the leading and strongest brand in the forefront of Indian fashion. We want to be a leading lifestyle brand in the country, charming the high ground of fashion,” signed off Mr Chand, smilingly.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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