01 Nov 2018
India`s retail story is rather vivid with only eight per cent of population raking up as much as 60 per cent of total apparel consumption. However, now even people living in smallest of towns have aspiration to dress better. Mohit Dhanjal, Director (Retail), Raymond believes that it is not the Tier-1, Tier-2 or even Tier-3 cities, but in fact even the smaller towns that have left everyone surprised with their desire for more. He quips, "Money was always there, now there is aspiration to dress better and to have more options."
Currently, Raymond is present in 400 towns, but recent census reports have jolted the brand to reality that it could expand to another 800 towns which have mostly been untouched so far by the brand. Mohit further adds,
We are at the cusp of revolutionary change. As long as smaller towns continue to grow and we continue driving economic prosperity through the population pyramid, things would keep going. I am extremely positive about India’s retail story.
In a price-sensitive nation like India, pricing of a product can be a tricky thing.
At the heart of it, Indians are value seekers. If someone is paying Rs. 2,000 for a shirt, he would want the thing to last longer. Quality is at the heart of whatever we do. It is our strength. We wouldn’t compromise quality for price. We want people to come back
There is a school of thought that claims that the day is not far when more and more people would embrace online shopping and the convenience that comes with it moving away from physical stores. According to Mohit, if anything, online stores have paved way to more consumption. Today, Raymond is available on all major e-commerce players including Myntra, Flipkart, Snapdeal and even Paytm. To take online experience a step ahead, Raymond is now working on omnichannel. As Mohit aptly briefs,
“We are working on the omnichannel concept where if someone places order online, the product will be picked up from the nearest physical store and delivered to him.”
With international brands offering insurmountable amounts of fast-fashion styles and millennials being hooked on to these brands, the question many experts are asking is whether it poses a threat to traditional brands like Raymond. Explains Mohit,
“Raymond stands for the complete man. However, it is important to understand that the man is changing now. And what’s more important is to understand where this dynamic man is hanging out. These days, after a certain age, we stop ageing mentally. No more does a man of 35 dress like a 35-year-old. So, our portfolio of brands keeps up with the changing looks that the man of today takes up.”
With an array of brands under its wings including Colorplus, Park Avenue and Parx, Raymond has something for every man. Plus, the biggest strength of a brand lies in its core, which for Raymond is fabric. Thus, to remain at the top of its game, Raymond keeps bringing in new fabrics; the latest one being Techno Smart fabric which with its features like wrinkle-free, UV repellent, odourless and stain-and water-repellent, has caught the eye of millennials very well. The brand also gave nationalist fabric – Khadi, a revamped look by launching Raymond Khadi, which is not only sustainable but is also stylish and comes in various prints. If that is not enough, the brand has also tapped ethnics’ market with its ceremonial range of traditional wear, comprising of sherwanis, kurta pyjama, Nehru jackets, etc.. featuring various textures and embroideries. Besides, the brand is moving from product-centric approach to offering complete wardrobe solutions that include shoes and handbags too.
The brand opened its 100th store last year and in the next two years, the brand wants to open 300 more stores.
“A Raymond shop is usually spread across 2,500 sq. ft.; we revamped the store format last year. Now we have 800 sq. ft. stores while investment is less than 50 lakh. It is the smaller towns that are showing more potential because people have time in their hands and want to go in for stitching over readymade garments for most ceremonies. Most purchases are planned, which take time. It is not impulsive,” concludes Mohit.
With the brand hurling ever new and ever more varieties in apparels at the buyers, and with retail scene in India looking rather impressive despite transitional market challenges, Raymond is well on its way to capture an even bigger market share, comprising of millennials and the grown-up men alike. After all, every man aspires to be THE COMPLETE MAN!