"We have eight stores in six cities now and plan to double that in 18-24 months time. We will come up with our stores in Hyderabad, Kolkata, National Capital Region and one more in Mumbai. We will have our stores in major cities before looking at other cities," said R. Sathyajit, coo - International Brands and New Businesses at Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, a division of Aditya Birla Nuvo.
According to him, The Collectives houses a collection of affordable luxury international apparel, watch and shoe brands for men and women's accessories like hand bags.
The store vends apparel - formal, semi-formal, casual and denim - brands like Armani Collezioni, Versace Collection, Hugo Boss, True Religion, Vivienne Westwood, Lagerfeld and Richard James and more.
The accessories include fashion watches, cufflinks, shoes, ties, belts, leather products, jewellery and sunglasses to create a perfect ensemble.
The accessory brands repertoire includes celebrated names such as Mont Blanc, Tateossian, Pirelli, Juicy Couture, Michael Kors and Lulu Guinness.
While The Collective a predominantly is a men's wear outlet, women's wear was added in Delhi and Chandigarh outlets and the customer response is being studied.
"We would like to have a similar store format across the country. Our store format may not fit in smaller towns though there may be good business potential," Sathyajit said.
He said The Collective outlets are present in malls and also as standalone high street stores.
"The stores in the malls get good number of footfalls but the conversion ratio is lower than what it is in high street stores," he said.
On the criteria for selection of international premium brands to be stocked in the stores, he said the company follows three filter formula - brand filter (relevance and popularity of the brand); price filter (the product should not be over or under priced for the segment) and design attributes. According to Sathyajit, there are around 40-50 brands across all the categories while the brand attrition is very low the stock turnover is satisfactory.
Agreeing that The Collective does not guarantee volume sourcing, Sathyajit said what the store offers for the brand owners is the great showcasing of their products.
"The Collective is the first premium luxury lifestyle retail chain in the country and still is the only one such chain. Some of the brand owners are good advertisers in Indian lifestyle magazines which augur well for us," he added.
According to him some of the products in certain lines will be replaced so as to offer the exclusivity for the buyers while some common products will be reordered.
He said while majority of the brands stocked are global, there are plans to stock Indian designer labels.
On the impact of rupee devaluation, Sathyajit said: "Till now we have not been affected as we bought our stocks much earlier. Perhaps for the next season we might be affected if the rupee continues to fall."
According to him, each store would involve an investment of around Rs.7 crore (Rs.5 crore for capital expenditure and Rs.2 crore for working capital) and the chain is now showing operating profit.
--IANS (Posted on 26-08-2013)