Raymond Apparel one of India’s top apparel brands, has been evaluating all its brands for some time now. In fact, the group closed down a few of its brand recently. Shreyas Joshi, President, Raymond Apparel, says, “We wondered why we wanted to have smaller brands operating in the niche area. We would focus on a few power brands and make them big. We closed down Zapp even though it was doing well. We realized we didn’t have a big strategy for children. With one brand you can’t conquer the children’s area. We have closed down Manzoni too because it was operating in a super premium niche area. We thought we would offer something equivalent in Raymond rather than nurture some other brand.” So the Raymond group is now focusing on its four big and popular brands—Raymond Premium Apparel, Park Avenue, Parx and Color Plus.
Further the brand has big plans to get into lifestyle accessories. It’s already into accessories offering ties, cufflinks, socks etc. “Two months back we launched sunglasses. Although this is the rainy season we have had a very good response. At the moment we have only Park Avenue sunglasses. These will soon be available at multibrand outlets and optical stores. We are offering formal and casual sunglasses priced at Rs 1,700 going up to Rs 3,000. In September, we will have handbags. This will be under Park Avenue Women. We will have 25 styles of handbags ranging from Rs 1,500 or Rs 1,800.”
Meanwhile Park Avenue which is in its 25th year changed its logo and now it’s on the facades of most exclusive Raymond stores, MBOs and shop-in-shops in large formats. For autumn/winter, a category in office wear called dress casuals in Park Avenue has been launched. Park Avenue will also have jeans, knits in a very big way. It’s being turned into a lifestyle brand for men and women. Parx’s logo has also been changed and the jeans line has been strengthened. Parx has been the fastest growing brand of the group over the last three years. With a presence in 400 MBOs, 25 exclusive stores and large formats, the brand aims to add 10 more stores by March 2012. Color Plus the other brand from Raymond has dropped its women’s wear collection to focus on men’s wear, where the brand has been successful. With a retail presence in 80 EBOs the brand plans to add another 15 to 20 Color Plus stores by March 2012.
Lastly Raymond Premium Apparel which is doing phenomenally well is the thrust area for the group. “In the coming years we will be adding more products under this brand. Raymond will also be a lifestyle brand,” Joshi observes. Raymond Premium Apparel won’t have EBOs but will have a growing presence in the existing The Raymond Shops. There are now close to 600 The Raymond Shops and another 100 will be added by March 2012. Apart from these, four brands, the group has two retail formats, Neckties and More and Shirts and More. “Neckties and More have grown faster than we imagined. We will be in excess of 100 stores by March 2012,” Joshi informs. There are already 45 stores in operation and of these 18 are in Mumbai. As for Shirts and More, it is at the test marketing stage. They may open about six such stores by March 2012. Shirts and More stores are slightly bigger than Neckties and More stores sized around 350 to 400 sq. ft. area “We are not going all out to open stores. We may open Shirts and More stores but only in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai,” concludes Joshi.