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Eskay Knit to invade retail industry

Nov '05
The prevailing retail rise in the country has attracted some unlikely players. Eskay Knit India, a vertically integrated textile company focusing on knitwear, is the newest one planning retail venture.

The company is establishing eight textile malls, each with an investment of Rs 5-6 crore. The malls will cover more 1,00,000-2,00,000 sq ft of company's existing properties. Four of the malls will be in Mumbai.

Lower Parel's Raghuvanshi Mill complex, Dombivli, Malad and New Mumbai are the locations selected for the malls in Mumbai. The other places are in Pune, Vapi and Nagpur.

The first mall is expected to be started at Lower Parel by January 2006, and others will be operational by end of 2005.

At first, Eskay Knit would erect malls on its own properties and they will be textile-based ones with its own brands, products and manpower. However, it would grant possession of space to other brands and products afterwards, said Navin Tayal, chairman, Eskay Knit.

The company has League and Assets brands for outer and innerwear in its portfolio and is also thinking of acquiring a few emerging brands to add to its band. The company is negotiating with some woven fabric/garment manufacturers to balance its own knitwear focus.

In the recent times, Eskay has invested Rs 350 crore for the growth of its spinning, knitting and processing operations to meet with export demands.

The company supplies t-shirts and sportswear to Wal-Mart, Phatfarm and Sears in the US as well as to home shopping catalogues.

The company recorded a profit of Rs 20 crore only from exports in the first half of this financial year, increased from Rs 1.52 crore for the entire 2004-05.

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