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Home > Business > Special

Shopping blues? Visit this showroom

Sangeeta Singh | November 12, 2005

If you have the post-Diwali blues, you should step into Van Heusen's new showroom in Delhi's Connaught Circus - it feels like it's still Diwali in there, with the new collection of dazzling green, pink, magenta, purple and blue shirts out in all its glory.

And if you really want to look chic, you can match your shirt with an equally bright (but in a different colour) tie, cufflink or tie-pin. If you're not this brave though, the showroom may still have something for you, say in its new range of jackets.

The showroom, spread over 8,000 sq ft, has something for everyone. It's Van Heusen's biggest exclusive store, and perhaps one of the biggest menswear showrooms in India.

"We want to give our customers an international retail experience, both in terms of range and space," says Hemchandra Javeri, president, Madura Garments, which has brands like Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England under its belt.

According to Javeri, Van Heusen has seen a consistent 30 per cent growth on a year-on-year basis for the last three years. The company plans to open three or four exclusive stores in this financial year alone, and the brand is available through multi-brand stores in 24 towns. In two years time, the company plans to have over 20 stores.

However, most men are not brand conscious. For instance, a customer buying a shirt will not differentiate between brands such as Manzoni, Allen Solly, Louis Philippe or Van Heusen. So does it make sense to have an exclusive Van Heusen showroom? Javeri argues that exclusive showrooms give customers more choice.

To make its different brands distinct from each other, Madura Garmets earlier opened exclusive showrooms for Louis Philippe and Allen Solly in Delhi.

A huge range of products, trial rooms, a choice of accessories to go with shirts and suits, free home delivery after alteration, customer loyalty cards and so on are a few strategies Madura Garments is trying out to cash in on these showrooms.

"Van Heusen is one of the three largest shirt brands in the US and we are looking at capturing that kind of customer base in India as well," says Javeri. Last year, the company added jackets to its range.

Madura Garments also plans to promote Van Heusen in international markets. The brand is already being sold in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait in the Middle East, but not in stand-alone showrooms.

The company plans to intensify its presence in these countries and in South-east Asia. "When we have the right location and retail space, we will start exclusive showrooms - be it in the domestic market or overseas," says Javeri.

For its new collections, Van Heusen targets young corporate executives and middle income men. Shirts range from Rs 899- 3,000. Allen Solly also more or less falls in the same price category, though Louis Philippe is in a higher price range. For those wanting to spend less, the company has the more affordable brand, Peter England.

The company has constantly been experimenting with new products. Under Van Heusen, Madura Garments earlier launched True Tech (the non-iron shirt), Oxyrich (supposed to release oxygen ions around the wearer) and Ice Touch shirts.

With its range of innerwear, accessories and jackets, the company aspires to make Van Heusen a complete wardrobe brand. "In the next two years, the Indian market will see a range of shoes, fragrances and eyewear bearing the Van Heusen name," says Javeri.

A range of leather accessories have already been introduced. The brand has already earned sales of Rs 175 crore (Rs 1.75 billion) through retail.

It's no wonder then Javeri and team are celebrating the season by wearing their own bright colours of pinks, purples and greens.

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