ITC plans to take its flagship Wills Lifestyle stores upmarket, transforming it into a luxury brand to profit from the upgrading Indian buyer who is willing to pay more. Wills Lifestyle will revamp its product portfolio with more of designer wear and international designs and explore newer retail formats like boutique stores and specialised luxury stores to reach out to luxury buyers.
This will increase the average price of products at Wills Lifestyle to around Rs 3,000 from Rs 2,500 now.
"The premium consumers are upgrading themselves to the luxury segment... A transition to the luxury segment will make our business model future-proof for the next ten years," says ITC's Divisional Chief Executive (Lifestyle Retail) Atul Chand.
The tobacco-to-hotel conglomerate wants to carve out a niche presence in the increasingly crowded apparel retailing business where margins are becoming a strain due to competition and increase in commodity prices.
Wills Lifestyle has partnerships with a host of designers like Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Rohit Gandhi, Rahul Khanna, Satya Paul and Ranna Gill, with plans to soon roll out a new line by Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Such designer wear contributes 15 per cent to the store's over-all sales.