Gini & Jony cartoon character will woo Indian kids

Tuesday, 31 August 2010
altGini & Jony, one of the best known kids wear brands in India is planning to give a flip to it its new shop-in-shop concept called ‘Gini & Jony Freedom Fashion’ within Lifestyle stores. In fact, the brand has its own format in Lifestyle. “We have already started this concept and are building on it so that it becomes more visible and attractive. This concept is at Inorbit, Malad. It’s around 900 sq. ft. and showing good growth. We will redesign and enhance it. If this concept is a success, we can approach other chains,” says executive director Anil H Lakhani.

In Freedom Fashion the customer has the freedom of buying any brand, not necessarily Gini & Jony. “One can buy Benetton, Puma, or Levi’s under one roof. We have licenses for Levis right from design to manufacturing. For Puma, we are the exclusive partner for the country for kid’s wear and shoes. And Benetton we are part distributors, for the south and west,” he informs. Even though Gini & Jony is also present in Shoppers Stop, Lakhani feels in shopping malls, rentals are high. “You need a proper footfall. We are coming up with at least 50 stores by December-end in Mumbai and Delhi. We are in MBOs and are accepted because of our pricing. Gini & Jony is at 800 doors. Nearly 50 per cent of this is Gini & Jony and 50 per cent is Palm Tree,” he avers.

alt By March 2011, we want to add 75 stores that will push up the total to 275. The stores would be around 1,200 to 1,500 sq. ft. each. The brand has a flagship store at Juhu, Mumbai which is 4,200 sq. ft. The plan is to open another four to five flagship stores within the planned 275 stores. The flagships will be in metros like Delhi and Bangalore.

The Lakhani brothers were one of the first to launch branded apparel for children in India. Over the years, Gini & Jony has become category specific. “We are the pioneers of jeans, so that’s our main category,” he says. In fact, their eight-month-old brand GJ Jeans is doing very well. Then they have shirts, bottoms excluding jeans, woven tops, which includes shirts and dresses for boys and girls. GJ Baby which was launched recently is for children from three months to two years of age. They also have an economy brand ‘Palm Tree’ which is sold in Spencer’s Retail chains. Happy Style is the main mother brand, focused on two to 10 year olds.

Going forward the focus will be on accessories, which gives them 9 to 10 per cent of sales. Also on the drawing board are GJ Baby stores. The first of these will either open in Mumbai or a Tier II city as a test case. What’s more they also plan to introduce a character like Disney’s cartoon flicks, Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. Lakhani says, “The character is being given a proper shape and form in 2-D and 3-D. It will take a couple of years for it to appear in public. We will begin with serials because Indian animated movies are not as successful. The character we will introduce will be a Gini & Jony Indian character,” he sums up.