Mohan Clothing Company, makers of Blackberrys, is planning a major retail initiative to strengthen its readymade brand. It has set up three company-owned franchisee outlets and has plans of opening seven more across the top metros by the end of this financial year. By 2003, the number of outlets is expected to go up to 30. Each of these outlets have been set up at an estimated investment of Rs 15 lakh. Of the three that are open currently, one is in Chandigarh (in the sector 17 market), and two are in Delhi. Of the last two, one is in Greater Kailash Part 1 market (in south Delhi), and the other is in the bustling shopping centre of Connought Place (inner circle).
Alongside, to increase the brand visibility 75 more 'shop-in-shops' are being added to the existing 25. Blackberrys has also increased its dealer network from 312 to over 400 stores that would cover shopping malls and big retail chains like Shoppers' Stop, Pyramids, Ebony etc.
Talking about the retail initiative, Shiv Raj Kumar, in-charge, retail operations, Mohan Clothing, says, "We never had a brand-building focus. Our retail focus programme is an effort in that direction. New outlets are being set up at strategic locations because our prime objective is to build the brand intelligently. The initiative is, in part, an answer to the customers' growing need for one-stop-shopping experience and personalised service." The other is expanding its current collection. "Our objective is to enhance our range to become a family name and make Blackberrys a 'wardrobe brand'," says Shiv Raj Kumar.
For the records, Blackberrys was launched in 1991 as a suits and jackets company. In 1996 it introduced khakis and, after four years, the company extended its collection to trousers. Earlier this year, the Blackberrys brand was repositioned as the 'Sharp, Smooth, Sure' brand. The move was supported by a change of company logo. All that was in line with its diversification plan.
The company diversified this year into men's shirts and into western tops and trousers for women. The company sees tremendous growth prospect in women's wear. "There is no competition in the branded women's wear market. The potential size of the market is in the vicinity of Rs 580 crore. Currently, we have sales of just Rs 50 lakh. So there is much more to capture," says an enthusiastic Rajiv K Jaswal, deputy marketing manager, Mohan Clothing. Next year, the company hopes to be in children's wear as well.
To cope with growing demand for the brand, the company has set up a new manufacturing plant, which is located close to the existing factory at Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon (Haryana). An investment of Rs 3 crore has gone into setting up of the factory.
The company plans to double its ad spend next year - form Rs 1.5 crore (this year) to Rs 3 crore for the next fiscal. While the thrust of the communication is going to be on outdoor and below-the-line-activities, the print media will be leveraged to some extent. However, the women's range will not see any advertising this year.
For now, the company is working at the next big task on its agenda - to go in for an IPO and double the turnover to Rs 70 crore in the next fiscal. By 2003, the company is looking to touch the magic figure of Rs 100 crore in turnover.
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