Max Fashions, which is best known for its affordable fashion for women consumers, has 80 stores on a pan India basis and is aggressively expanding its distribution network. In a candid conversation with Sweta Pal, Vasanth Kumar, Executive Director, Max Fashions, shares their competitive advantage and strategy to grow operations.
Sweta Pal (SP): Max stores are present in several Tier-1 and II cities, yet you only have one or two stores in these cities. Kindly explain your distribution strategy?
Vasanth Kumar (VK): Our broad thumb rule is one store for one million consumers in Tier-II towns, and for tier-I towns, one store for every half million customers, as they have a higher spending capacity.
We are looking to expand to 5-6 cities in each state, and are opening one new store every 20 days. As part of that strategy, we recently opened two stores in Chennai and Pondicherry, coupled with one store in Andhra Pradesh and also at Chandigarh’s Elante Mall. I would like to highlight that some of our stores in South India have done extremely well.
We also operate through franchises on a conversion basis, and have 80 stores across India, out of which 18 are franchise stores.
SP: Please elaborate on your primary target audience, and your promotional activities?
VK: Our primary target audience is women aged between 25-35 years and in urban areas, they typically have an average family income of Rs 25,000-50,000.
Our secondary audience is younger girls aged 14-20 years, fashion-conscious and they also influence their mother’s purchase decisions. Our range for young girls is pocket-friendly too and we market those products using social media, constantly. The average ticket size of purchase for this segment is about Rs 1200.
I would also like to highlight that we use a suitable mix of stores in malls and standalone stores on high streets, to reach our target audience.
As part of our promotional and allied activities, we recently tied up with Femina Miss India and were the fashion sponsors for this event. Apart from that, we are currently conducting a ‘Fashion icon search’ at 30-40 colleges in Tier-II towns, and the winners would get an opportunity to model our collections.
SP: The domestic market already has several prêt-a-porter stores, and with the government allowing FDI in the sector, several international fashion brands are also expected to enter shortly. How will you remain competitive in this scenario?
VK: The average price for our products ranges from Rs 200-600 and about half the price of international brands. In addition, our range is rather wide and meets the fashion needs for women on a daily basis.
SP: Are you leveraging e-retail?
VK: We are not very active online. We are testing our e-commerce activities in Dubai and if successful, we will start the same in India next year. We are however, looking at participating with e-retailers such as Hoopos, Babyoye, Fashionara and Flipkart, but no two sites will carry the same products.