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Rediff.com  » Business » Bombay Dyeing stitching together a new story

Bombay Dyeing stitching together a new story

Last updated on: August 09, 2018 09:14 IST

Bombay Dyeing is betting on creating a range of unique, customised textile products, a route that is largely unexplored by the home textiles players although several industry reports and consumer behavior studies have talked about the potential for personalisation.

When Nowrosjee Wadia established Bombay Dyeing in 1879 it had no competition. Linen companies like Welspun and D'Decor are now giving Bombay Dyeing a run for its money. Photograph: Courtesy Welspun/Facebok.

When Nowrosjee Wadia established Bombay Dyeing in 1879 it had no competition. Linen companies like Welspun (whose linen is on display in the picture above) and D'Decor are now giving Bombay Dyeing a run for its money. Photograph: Courtesy Welspun/Facebok.

After decades, the one-time textile major is rebuilding its brand in a segment that it earned its spurs in.

Bombay Dyeing now sells much more snazzy sheets to attract a variety of customers. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

Bombay Dyeing sells much more snazzy sheets than it did two decades ago. No more plain-Jane, boring light blues and whites. It is investing in product and design innovations that suit customer preferences in the new markets. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

With a strategy to push through its retail footprint in small towns and online channels and with millennial buyers as its target group, the Wadia group company is stitching together a new story for its flagship textile brand. But while Bombay Dyeing has the advantage of a near 140-year-old legacy, breaking into the new marketplace with a radically different set of competitors and consumers is a challenge say experts.

Bombay Dyeing has also made expanding to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities a priority. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

The company has opened several new stores in Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

Customisation and aggressively building an online retail footprint are how the company sees itself re-establishing the brand. Aloke Banerjee, CEO, retail business, Bombay Dyeing says they are looking at smaller towns and the millennial generation through a resurgent offline and online marketing strategy.

Bombay Dyeing's range is now mind-boggling. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

It has a strategy to push through its footprint through online channels with millennial buyers as its target group. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

“While the home textiles market is largely unorganised, Bombay Dyeing has been a legacy brand already carrying a high recall value among consumers. Unlike other brands, Bombay Dyeing can start something new and still gain traction across India, even online,” said Prashant Aggarwal, joint managing director, Wazir Advisors, a retail consulting firm.

Most of its sales happen through bed linen with towels contributing the next largest amount. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

It plans to add another 100 franchisee-owned stores in small towns. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

The offline retail strategy involves new stores being opened up in Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns as well as working with a new franchise model. Bombay Dyeing is also investing in product and design innovations that suit customer preferences in the new markets.

Bombay Dyeing's range is now mind-boggling. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

Sales online brings in about 10 per cent of its business. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

 

 

But the gamble is bigger for the brand’s online expansion plans. Bombay Dyeing is betting on creating a range of unique, customised textile products (on the lines of a made-to-measure strategy that is being explored by several apparel brands). This is route has been largely unexplored by the home textiles players although several industry reports and consumer behavior studies have talked about the potential for personalisation.


Catchy advertising is another thrust to help sales. Photograph: Courtesy @BombayDyeing_In/Twitter.

Bombay Dyeing's ad spend in 2018 will be 7 per cent of its annual revenue. Photograph: Courtesy @BombayDyeing_In/Twitter.

Personalisation is the gateway to the world of the millennial shopper and also allows brands to operate within the premium category. It is also an opportunity that is best explored via online marketing channels and having seen a steady traction, with currently 10 per cent of its business coming from online sales, Bombay Dyeing is keen to dig deeper.

Bombay Dyeing's range is now mind-boggling. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

In India the organised home textiles market was worth Rs 142.2 billion in 2017. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

“We are on major e-commerce platforms. At present, it is contributing to around 10 per cent of our business. We expect it to grow further.  Also, to target the millennial we launched customisation of bed sheets. People want detailing to take place as per their need and requirement. We enable that at a very affordable price point,” Banerjee said.

Bathroom linen is another area of growth. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

Bed linen is responsible for 50 per cent to Bombay Dyeing's turnover. But 20 per cent comes from bath linen. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

According to several industry analysts, this could be a way to differentiate the brand in a crowded market. The brand’s new television commercial, its first one in several years, also talks about the customised offering. The Make Your Own Bed Sheet campaign is expected to be part of the larger brand story throughout the year and Banerjee said, “This year we plan to invest a substantial sum for branding and promotion activities of Bombay Dyeing.”

Currently, bed linen contribute around 50 per cent to Bombay Dyeing's turnover, followed by 20 per cent by bath linen such as towels, and rest 30 per cent from other products put together.

Bombay Dyeing is now offering customisation ie make your own bedsheets. Photograph: Courtesy www.bombaydyeing.com

Bombay Dyeing is tickling the fancies of its customers by offering customisation, ie, make your own bedsheets. Photograph: Courtesy www.bombaydyeing.com.

The online experience has been rewarding, the company says and that has helped frame even its offline expansion.

Bombay Dyeing's range is now mind-boggling. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

Bombay Dyeing believes its fiscal 2018-2019 turnover will jump to Rs 6.5 billion at MRP level. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

It plans to add another 100 franchisee-owned stores in small towns. “We have seen from e-commerce (purchase patterns) that our responses have been very good from Tier-2 and 3 towns. So, we are getting into hinterland also. The places have been identified and we are waiting for opportune moment for rolling them out,” said Banerjee.

The big challenge is retaining the brand’s premium positioning and legacy status in a market where a number of newer labels have carved out a niche. Among its big competitors today are D-Décor, Portico, Trident, and Welspun, among others.

D'Decor's bed linen has captured the imagination of the market. Photograph: Courtesy D'Decor/Facebook.

D'Decor's snooty line of Mr and Mrs S Khan-endorsed bed linen has captured the imagination of the market and is giving Bombay Dyeing a reason to innovate. Photograph: Courtesy D'Decor/Facebook.

Market research firm, Euromonitor International, estimates the organised home textiles market is valued at around Rs 142.2 billion (2017), up from Rs 129.2 billion in 2015. However, the market is growing at 10 per cent (compound annual growth rate) CAGR and the overall Indian domestic home textiles market size (including unorganised) is expected to touch Rs 480 billion by 2021, as per consulting firm Wazir Advisors. Currently, the organised home textiles market is estimated to be 15-20 per cent of the entire domestic industry.

Bombay Dyeing has franchises and company stores in even Tier 3 towns. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

In spite of its 140-year legacy making it in new marketplaces, that have a totally separate kind of competitors and customers, is always a gamble. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

To further boost its online offering that could help Bombay Dyeing reach younger consumers, the home textiles brand is also learnt to be in talks with a major e-commerce player for a strategic partnership.

“In online channel, based on our engagement, one of the major e-commerce partners has expressed interest in expanding their product portfolio with Bombay Dyeing in home furnishing category. Together we have identified new products with maximum potential basis their consumer demand,” added Banerjee.

Linen and accessories for children's rooms is a crowd puller. Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

Linen and accessories for children's rooms is a crowd puller. Photograph: Courtesy Bombay Dyeing/Facebook.

Bombay Dyeing is also banking on its advertising spend this year at seven per cent of its annual revenue to boost its online-cum-offline retail strategy. On the back of the advertising spend and retail expansion, Bombay Dyeing expects its fiscal 2017-2018 turnover worth Rs 4 billion at MRP level to jump to Rs 6.5 billion in FY 2018-2019.

Vinay Umarji in Ahmedabad
Source: