The whole retail sector has undergone a revolution since the outbreak; a change that has given consumers more power and enabled businesses to enter new segments. Since consumers' behavior has also shifted, e-commerce has been crucial in bringing about this transition. In tandem with this shift, Cantabil Retail is investing in the digital module to keep up with the pace of digitization and also providing its customers with a cutting-edge shopping experience.
Cantabil had made a foray into the e-commerce world during the pandemic for its customers’ convenience. The brand collaborated with all leading online marketplaces such as Myntra, Ajio, Flipkart, and Amazon, among others. In line with the D2C approach, the brand also introduced its own online store.
“This opens up a wide range of opportunities for growth beyond traditional geographic boundaries. We kicked off our e-commerce operations amidst the pandemic, which was relatively new then. However, e-commerce's contribution to our total sales has now picked up well,” said Deepak Bansal, Director, Cantabil Retail India Ltd.
Currently, Cantabil is present across 19 states and 200+ cities with a network of 443 exclusive retail outlets and more than 3,700 employees dispersed across India. Out of its total of 443 stores, 70 percent are COCO (company owned & company operated) stores while the remaining 30 percent are franchise stores.
The brand has opened 65 stores till now in the current financial year. It is unveiling 6-7 new stores every month, and most of them are in untapped regions.
“Talking about our stores, we plan to open 80 to 90 new stores every year and keep up this pace,” asserted Bansal.
Cantabil is present in almost all parts of India, except for South India, with its core presence in North India, followed by Maharashtra, Gujarat, and the eastern parts of the country. The brand focuses on high-street markets. “In the coming years, we have plans to go aggressive in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Eastern India by launching new retail stores,” he explained.
Additionally, the company is also focusing on Tier II and III cities significantly and launching its stores there, as its customers based in these towns have limited access to malls and trendy clothing. “Tier II and beyond contribute 70 percent of our overall revenue. As a lot of Tier III markets are still untouched, our growth will naturally come more from Tier II and beyond towns,” he further added.
Cantabil broadly operates through three segments - men's wear, women's wear, and kids' wear. It is currently manufacturing shirts, denims, trousers, business and party wear suits, T-shirts, woolen jackets, pullovers, shorts, jeggings, kurtis, and accessories for men and women. In the accessories segment, the brand offers ties, belts, socks, handkerchiefs, towels, perfumes, deodorants, trolley bags, and innerwear.
Bansal said that Cantabil was mainly recognized as a menswear brand, however, over the last few years, its women's and kids' divisions have seen significant growth.
“We are currently opening dedicated stores for our ladies' and children's apparel collections. In the future, we believe that our diverse portfolio will definitely take the brand to new heights,” he stated.
Technology & Marketing Innovations
In order to tighten end-to-end controls and integrate all the departments, Cantabil has deployed Microsoft Navision ERP. The company employs cutting-edge technology across all functional divisions, including operations, production, HR, and finance, to run seamless business operations.
“We have also put into practice our O+O (offline + online) approach that includes omnichannel,” noted Bansal.
On the marketing front, the brand is deploying a mix of conventional and digital marketing tools in order to promote retail stores in untapped regions. In conventional marketing tools, Cantabil is employing cinema, print, and outdoor media, while in the digital space, it is utilizing social media, influencers, and SMS campaigns.
“The marketing strategy has changed over the years. Earlier, it was mainly about the use of traditional marketing channels, but now a major chunk of the budget goes to the digital space,” he added.
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The company's financial performance showed steady growth at a 25 percent CAGR, with a clocking revenue of Rs 383 crore last year. This year, Cantabil is expecting its revenue to grow by around 40-45 percent.
“We expect to generate Rs 1,000 crore in revenue over the next three years and thus maintain the current growth rate,” concluded Bansal.