Biyani’s FLF plans smaller fashion stores

As he gears up his retail empire to face competition from global retailers, Kishore Biyani, the founder of the Big Bazaar chain, is now extending the reach of his fashion business, adding a new focus with small stores - clearly aimed at courting lower-end consumers.

The new format, 'I Am In', will specialise in fashion for the youth.

“We are looking at a smaller format in the fashion space, which we will test out soon,” said Kishore Biyani, founder and promoter of the Future Group that controls Big Bazaar and Home Bazaar. “There will be at least three stores over the next two months. We’ll take the learnings from these stores and depending upon the success, consider scaling up . There is a pace for an apparel format for the youth. This pilot format will address that.”

The new format will be the fifth set-up from the demerged fashion business Future Lifestyle Fashions (FLF), which is scheduled to be listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange by next quarter.

Pantaloons, the country’s largest retailer controlled by Biyani, in November 2012 demerged its fashion business and set up the new company, FLF, which will have a portfolio of over two dozen fashion and lifestyle brands.

At present, FLF delivers R3,200 crore revenue from its four formats — Central, Brand Factory, aLL, and Planet Sports. “Our fashion business is growing at a good pace. We are looking at R4,500-5,000 crore business every year. Our ambition is to make it a R10,000-crore business over the next 5 years,”  Biyani said.


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