Spencer's Retail the RPG Group hypermarket chain is giving a major push to Beverley Hill Polo Club (BHPC), the international brand it launched last year. And one of the big initiatives will be to launch BHPC Kids for boys and girls in the spring of 2011. As CEO Anurag Rajpal says, “Beverly Hills Polo Club is a very important brand for us. We give affordable luxury and fashion to the Indian consumer which is missing right now. There are a lot of international players who are trying to address this segment but in a different manner. Nobody was giving this fast affordable fashion.”
The specialty retailer has a broad canvas of brands which includes mid-to-premium positioned apparel brands Beverly Hills Polo Club, Ladybird, Mark Ecko, besides music retailing venture Music World and cafe chain Au Bon Pain. As Rajpal, avers, “We launched Beverly Hills last year and are scaling it up rapidly in terms of the number of stores.”
In fact, BHPC is a very important brand for Spencer’s and the kind of numbers they are doing in Delhi and Mumbai is beyond expectations. They have become a major brand in Delhi and NCR, where they have seven stores and the eighth is opening shortly. In Punjab, they have four stores and a lot more will come up by the year end. In Mumbai too they have three stores and more are being planned. By September-end 20 stores will be up and running around India, these will be in Delhi, Punjab Pune, and Jaipur. “We want to close this fiscal with 40 stores spread across four clusters, Delhi-NCR-Punjab, Mumbai, Pune and the fourth would be the south, which is Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. We will be in Tier II cities as well and are trying to open in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and a couple of them in UP.”
Almost every store has been EBIDTA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization)-positive from day one. Rajpal says the store-level break-even is right from day one, which is unique in this industry for any brand. The first 20 stores which are coming up will be all company-operated. The next set of expansion will happen through franchisees. It will be always a combination of company and franchise stores because they don’t come under FDI regulations. “Our partners are more or less lined up from some key geographies and soon you will see franchise stores coming up. The first set of such stores will open in October. By 2011, we plan to have at least 10 franchisees. These will be part of the 40 mentioned earlier.” Nearly, 80 to 90 per cent of their business comes from EBOs.
Spencer’s now plans to launch BHPC Kids for boys and girls in spring ’11. As Rajpal says, “Because we believe children will have a strong association with the pony rider logo. Right now BHPC is positioned as a smart casual offering. Children’s will be an extension of that.” Rajpal sums up by saying, “By March 2012, we see BHPC as Rs 100 crores brand in India. By March 2014 that will probably be Rs 300 crores. If we can create Rs 500 crores business by 2014 across our brands it will be an achievement.”