Mumbai: The company is focusing on major metros along with keeping its eye on potential of tier I and II markets for the future retail expansion.
Banglore based multi-brand retailer William Penn, offering writing instruments, premium stationary and accessories, is riding high on its retail expansion with partnering with leading global and Indian pen, stationary and men’s accessories makers. The company has exclusively tied-up with German’spremium fine writing instruments maker Faber-Castell while planning to marginally increase its store counts every year.
“We have 31 stores across 9 cities and we continue to expand two to five stores a year. By the end of this year we are adding another three stores. For now we are focusing on Metros and also we see good potential is there in tier I and II cities,” Said Nikhil Ranjan, Founder & MD, William Penn.
Presently the company has 9 stores in Mumbai and the rest 22 stores are spread across major eight metros. All these stores are company owned.The company may get into franchising in the future. Per square feet capex for its store ranges from Rs 4500to Rs 8000- based on the location of the stores.
The company is simultaneously focusing on increasing its online presence to acquire more consumersresiding in remote towns. It is in the process of enabling omni-channel integration across all its retail locations in the next 12-15 months, to be ahead of the curve when it comes to offering unique in-store consumer experience.
“Online is an important channel for us to reach to the customers beyond III and IV cities. Our ecommerce presence is also gaining good amount of traction. Also, omni-channel integration is part of our journey”, added Ranjan.
In the future, the company is planning to have further more associations in the space of men’s accessories and writing instruments-in addition to its current number of brands offering of 20 in-house, Indian and global brands-while continuing with double digit YOY growth.
Overall the market for writing instruments have been evolving rapidly in India and across the world post the tide of sentiments of digital instruments may replace conventional writing instruments emerged in the last three to four years.
To be noted, India has 260 mn registered students, 1.5 mn schools and 8 lakh colleges. In the next three years it is an estimate that about 1 lakh schools will open in India, so the opportunity for writing instruments is high in India. Hence, the market for stationary items is consistently growing with single digit every year. According to the study of Faber Castell, the non-paper stationary market is of Rs 8000 cr in India and with paper stationary market is of Rs 16,000 cr.