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Raymond targets small town India

May 04, 2011 10:40 IST

Premium textile and apparel major Raymond has just debuted in the textile economy segment.

The launch of 'Makers', priced at a range of Rs 250-390 per metre, is the culmination of a process that started in March last year - a process which was initiated keeping in mind the Rs 6,000 crore (Rs 60 billion) organised textile market poised to grow at 20 per cent in semi-urban India.

To avoid overlap in products and a clash between rival brands, Raymond would look at phasing out the lower segment products in its existing premium line.

Raymond, quintessentially identified with the iconic "The Ultimate Man" tagline will find no place in the brand niche creation when the company tries to carve out an identity for 'Makers'.

"The appeal, draw and target of the new brand will be different from Raymond textiles, which stand for premium suiting and shirting. The look of the product is young, middle-income India, diametrically opposite from the Raymond image. Thus the disassociation," said Ram Bhatnagar, vice-president, emerging business, Raymond.

Bhatnagar adds that along with factors of a move toward branded material in dressing, the mall culture will be the catalyst for 'Makers' growth.

Also, while in the cities, private labels and readymade apparel have become the norm, the trend is yet to hit small towns.

Analysts agree with the Raymond theory, and are of the opinion that the new product will allow the textile major to have in its portfolio a complete product range with a certain premium 'Raymond' appeal to attract the initial customer.

"The segment is amongst the fastest growing. Over the last few years a substantial part of revenue for Raymond has been generated from tier II and tier III cities," says Sharad Mehra senior vice-president, fashion and apparel operations, Technopak.

The new product will not be sold in exclusive Raymond stores called "The Raymond Shop", which also house other up-market readymade apparel brands like ColorPlus, Parx and Park Avenue.

"The strategy of Raymond is to sell the brand through multi-brand outlets (MBOs) which is where the typical tier 2 and tier 3 customer shops. So this brand will not affect the positioning of Raymond brand which is largely sold through its exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) and larger MBOs," Mehra says.

The advertising campaign for Makers, which is slated to go on air from mid-May, seeks to encapsulate the idea of "Fashion for All".

The campaign banks on the fact that the line is more than fabrics and simple textiles but seeks to take fashion to everyone who wants it through accessories, styling and designs.

The brief given to TBWA Worldwide, the agency which envisioned the branding campaign was to create a brand as enduring as Raymond while appealing to the sensibilities of the tier II, III, IV and V cities.

"Catering to the middle Indian male who would identify with the brand and would expect to look as stylish as his urban counterpart was our brief," Shiv Sethuraman, CEO, TBWA India, says.

The idea here was to differentiate the brand vis-à-vis competition like DelMonte and Vimal in the organised space and small unorganised players who are vying heavily for the segment.

For Raymond, the key to the success of the brand lies in distribution, and aims to target 20,000 retailers by the end of the financial year, producing 600-700 stock-keeping units.

Also, the company plans to increase capacity by 40 per cent over the next three years to deal with increasing demand.

For the Rs 3,000-crore (Rs 30-billion) Raymond group, Makers is set to contribute 20 per cent to the overall portfolio.

 

Swati Garg in Mumbai
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