Madura Fashions to enter kidswear segment


October 5, 2012

Priyanka Pani, The Hindu Businessline
Mumbai, October 5, 2012

Madura Fashions and Lifestyle (MF&L), the branded retail arm of Aditya Birla Nuvo, is stitching plans to reposition its premium menswear brand Allen Solly as a family product. The company will enter the kidswear segment early next year with a formal national roll-out.

Madura Fashions is trying to reap the benefits from a growing kidswear segment in India. According to a recent report by retail research firm Technopak Advisory, this sector is witnessing high growth with girls wear growing at 11 per cent, and boys’ at 10 per cent.

“We have done a soft launch in some geographies and have got a very good response. We will look at a national launch early next year,” said Ashish Dixit, Chief Operating Officer, Madura Fashions.

The kids apparel market in India is likely to reach Rs 80,000 crore by 2015 from the current levels of Rs 38,000 crore, said industry body Assocham in a report last November. Besides, Indian players such as Liliput, Gini and Jony, and international retailers such as Zara Kids, United Colours of Benetton, Burberry are also trying to capture the market here.

Allen Solly is currently available with online retailers such as Jabong and a few others. The kids brand will soon be made available at all company outlets. At present, there are 140 such retail outlets.

“It does make sense for large-scale players to enter the kids segment, either by creating a new brand or even extending existing ones, given the long-term proposition in the market. In the next 25-30 years, a large section of the population will be below 10 years. With rising incomes, expenditure on a child’s clothes increases as he outgrows them quickly,” said retail consultant Devangshu Dutta at Third Eyesight research firm.

Early this year, knitwear brand Monte Carlo also entered this segment.

Allen Solly, despite being a male brand, has been able to strike a chord with corporate women. Their women’s range accounts for 25 per cent to the annual sales turnover. The firm has also unveiled a new brand identity with a new logo, a revamped store look and new advertising and promotion.