Biglife Ritu Wears, the retail chain stocking in-house as well as other apparel and accessories brands for the entire family is now planning to venture into eastern and western India. The retailer which began its journey with a mere 200 sq. ft. area, today holds 2 lakh sq. ft. of retail space throughout India. Commenting on the successful retail venture and bullish expansion plans, Samir Sahni, Director, JDS Apparels says, “Year-on-year, we have been growing at 25 to 30 per cent. For financial year 2010-11 we closed at Rs 210 crores, and for the fiscal 2011-12, we have set a target of Rs 250 crores. By 2012, we are planning to open our stores in eastern and western parts of the country. We are also in talks with small retail chains for mergers and acquisitions.” Ritu Wears is also in discussion with financial institutions and planning an IPO soon. But the ongoing slowdown in western markets has delayed their plans.
“The average size of our stores is 20,000 sq. ft. We are also opening stores in Tier II, III cities. Our biggest store is 40,000 sq. ft. in North Delhi. Right now we have 10 big department stores across Punjab, Delhi, NCR, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh,” he adds. Biglife Ritu Wears stocks 20 per cent private labels, 30 to 40 per cent national and international level premium and super premium category brands and 40 to 50 per cent regional and semi regional mid and economy category brands. “In terms of market share, we are among the major players in organized retailing. We are also in talks with international brands like US Polo, Tommy Hilfiger. The space devoted to international brands will depend on their product portfolio,” Sahni explains.
Biglife Ritu Wear is a departmental store, so through its ‘Family, Fashion, Fun’ campaign, it targets the entire family with offerings of pleasure, fashion, better ambience and elements of fun with various promotions and games. The campaign also celebrates special days like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Children’s Day etc. Last year, the company roped in Bollywood celebrity Malaika Arora Khan to endorse Biglife Ritu Wears and this year, they are planning to get another celebrity as the brand ambassador.
“We have also tied up with a private firm to explore e-retailing and are witnessing decent online sales. Now, we are working on starting our own e-retailing portal, since online retailing is going to become the next big platform for retailing in India,” Sahni opines.
India is emerging as one of the big opportunities for retailing in the world. With people from smaller towns becoming aware about quality and fashion, many brands are penetrating these areas to explore the potential. Expressing his views on the boom in these towns, Sahni says, “Our manufacturers are doing good business in the rural part of the country and Tier II, Tier III cities. In the coming four to five years, many Tier II and Tier III cities will become a major driver for the retailing sector in the country. We are also planning to open stores in Tier II, III cities.”
Biglife Ritu Wears has different private labels catering to men, women and kids. For example, in men’s formal and casual category, it has brands called K P Lon, Engine, Night, which are doing well. For women, they have brands called Veena and Cutley and in kidswear there are brands called 826 and Take More.
Summing up, Sahni says, “Moves like FDI in retail, will be very good, there will be a very clear demarcation between organized and un-organized retail. Overall, it will create a better retail scenario for the consumer.”