How do you see denim market in evolving in the country? Also the brand Pepe Jeans is scaling growth?
When we entered there were hardly few brands as far as denim wear is concerned. We have churned decent amount of growth in last couple of years. We are growing at the constant CAGR of 20%. There is a lot of happening within the brand. We launched kids wear two years back and now it’s a phenomenal success.
Likewise, recently, we have done a joint venture with Dollar for innerwear line, which we believe should be a big success in the time to come. Market is growing exponentially, though there were few disruptions in the form of demonetization and now GST. But, I think things are now settling down. Moreover, consumers these days get a lot of choices, so as long as you can innovate and able to offer him something new from the brand, the growth will keep on happening. That is how we the brand Pepe Jeans has sailed so far.
What was rationale behind to team-up with Dollar Industries? How do you justify this collaboration as you two are very strongly positioned in very different segments? What kind of business the brand is expecting from this JV?
See, innerwear market has peculiar characteristics. With this joint venture we can do two things, we can use our network and work with dollar to leverage their strength in terms of product and market knowledge. I think it’s a win- win association for both of us.
Moreover, innerwear was never a new category for us. Our overseas stores already have this range. We are hopeful to utilize their expertise and create great syneries together. We are expected to establish a very strong brand value for each other. With this JV, we aim to be 1000 cr brand in next 10 years.
What kind of distribution the innerwear range will have? Will it be placed within Pepe stores only?
We will be launching men, women and kids line. Off-course it will be present in Pepe stores but we will also explore shops which sell other innerwear products.
Any plans to have exclusive store for innerwear range?
We might have it in future. No plans for now.
Also shed light on projected growth for Pepe Jeans for this year? Also highlight brand’s current distribution?
We would be looking at opening 50 new stores by the end of this year. We have close to 220 stores as of now so by year end we might be having 275 stores. As of now, we are retailing via more than 300 point of sale. We also retailed via departmental stores along with a very strong channel of multi brand outlets.
So all new stores will be company owned or franchised?
It would be a mix of franchised and company owned. We are focused on pan-India expansion including metro, tier 1 and tier 2. We would be looking mall as well as high street locations for new stores.
Apart from innerwear, is the brand planning to introduce any new category? Also shed light on your best performing category from existing portfolio?
We are going to launch a very strong line of women athleisure range to stores shortly. Moreover, we have aggressive plans for shoes category, we aim to make footwear our strongest category. As of now, we are pretty strong in denims especially the bottom wear range.
What are the plans for online expansion?
We are planning for our exclusive web store but nothing has been finalized yet.
Levi’s is undisputed leader in denim category; do you see them as your competition?
Obviously, they are the number one player. But, we are also catching up very fast.