The journey of Archies, which started with greeting cards and then moved to gifts, has turned towards the apparel business now.
The company plans to sell T-shirts with smart one-liners and will soon explore putting similar messages on caps.
Branded as Archies Ginger Lemon-Masala tees, these will sport captions such as ‘Don’t give me attitude - I have my own’ and ‘Don’t read this - get your own T-shirt’.
Speaking to HT, Vijayant Chhabra, Executive Director, Archies Limited, said, “We will get tee shirts with whacky captions, whose production will be outsourced 100 per cent to a third party based in Tiruchur. The designs are ours and we have started off with 35 designs. The T-shirts will be priced between Rs 325 and Rs 399.”
The products are targeted at 18-25 year-olds. Chhabra said the company would initially sell such products in 35 company-owned stores and in the next 15-20 days extend it to 70 stores.
This opportunity has been explored earlier by Tantra, but Chhabra insists that Archies will go beyond messages on simple cotton T-shirts and have multiple processes to enhance them such as sequencing, puffing, rubberised printing as well as foil-work. The company aims to sell 50,000 T-shirts in six months.
The company, with over Rs 100 crore turnover, expects this new business to contribute Rs 15 crore by 2010, which will be 10 per cent of its turnover. Archies is also on an expansion spree. It is planning to add 40-50 outlets each year to its existing 110 stores. Archies is also looking at pushing the T-shirts through modern retail outlets and talks are on with major players such as Shoppers’ Stop, Future Group and Landmark., Chhabra said.
It goes without saying that witty messages are the differentiating factor for such products “Such products do well if the one-liners are crafted nicely. Tantra has successfully done it," said Rajan Malhotra, CEO of Big Bazaar.
“If all goes well, we will also sell caps with smart captions by next summer,” Chhabra added.