With an increase in the purchasing power, Woodland a brand for outdoor wear with a focus on footwear, has been expanding its range regularly. An intrinsic part of the Aero Group of Companies, Woodland has a kid’s wear segment, a yoga range for women as well as a range for the premium segment. The company is also looking at bigger retail outlet space of 3,000 to 5,000 sq. ft. to accommodate their increased portfolio. While focusing on the kid’s wear segment, which is the fastest growing in India, Woodland has classified three categories: 0-4 age group currently on hold; 4-8 age group; and lastly the hot-selling 10-14 category which is expected to change the face of Indian kid’s wear.
“Woodland’s Young Explorer range caters to youngsters in the age 4-14 years. This category is registering a phenomenal growth since we launched it a couple of years ago. We launched our international youngster’s collection which include organic Tees, outdoor shirts, polos, shorts, cargos and denim in boys and short skirts, capris, polos, print shirts and functional cargos and denim range for girls,” says Amol Dhillon, Vice President of Strategic Planning, Aero Group. India has the largest market in the under 18 years category with a population estimated at around 350 million plus. However, the organized market is a very tiny share of the total market which is estimated to be more than $20 billion annually.
Woodland feels that to be successful in the kid’s wear category, the trick is to offer innovative and exclusive styles while using comfortable fabrics and offering at prices which are value for money to the consumer. Kid’s wear is a specialized category where not only various sizes and fits have to mastered but also the colors, fabrics, designs combinations and merchandising mix requires dedicated teams and cannot function as an extension of the adult merchandising.
Apparels contribute around 40 per cent to Woodland’s total business which the company plans to take to 50 per cent in the coming years. The major focus is on technically-sound specialized functional outdoor wear such as water-proof, breathable jackets and eco friendly garments. To ensure that the apparel follow the latest trends. It is working closely with design studios in Italy and Hong Kong who supply the latest designs as well the know-how to manufacture it as a kit. In 2009, the company invested about Rs 5 to 10 crores in a range of new automated machinery from Italy in an effort to improve quality and functionality.
“Currently, we have over 300 company-owned Woodland stores across the country. Another 60 stores are in the pipeline. Our brand also has a presence in more than 3,000 MBOs in a number of countries. We are growing at about 20-25 per cent consistently and expect to touch a turnover of more than Rs 1,000 crores in 2012. In 2010, our group turnover stood at Rs 600 crores. Last year, we earmarked Rs 50-60 crores for product development and technology enhancements for our manufacturing facilities and also identified the opportunity to open 60-70 LFS of an average size of 4,000 sq. ft. by 2011,” concludes Dhillon.