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?We are looking at 90% conversions?

President of Arvind Brands Darshan Mehta spoke to Radhika Pancholi about the company?s plans for Gant.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 11:19 IST

Arvind brands is known for bringing international brands such as Arrow, Bayisland, Lee, Wrangler and Ruggers to the Indian market apart from managing in-house brands Excalibur and Newport. The company has also expanded the brand experience within the country. Most of them are showing a growth of 30-40 per cent per year. Now, Arvind Brands has introduced the US-based classic lifestyle brand, Gant. President of Arvind Brands Darshan Mehta spoke to Radhika Pancholi about the company’s plans for Gant. Excerpts:

What was the idea behind getting Gant to India?

The Indian fashion market is maturing, and a clear demarcation is being arrived at—between couture and prêt-a-porter, as Indians get more conscious of what they wear. Gant is a premium brand as far as prêt-aporter is concerned, and we thought that the time was just right to give the Indian customer a brand that’s not in your face and is something that any well-dressed fashion aficionado would want.

What is the target audience for this brand?

Gant is meant for people who don’t dress up, but are still well dressed. It’s made for those who love the outdoors, people who would rather wear something, which has outstanding tailoring and subtle branding. It’s targeted at the movers and shakers of the society.

What format of marketing would you follow for Gant in India?

We have just opened our first store in Mumbai and plan to follow up with one more store in Delhi later this year. Altogether, we plan to have four stores across India in the next couple of years. Unlike our other brands, for Gant we plan to operate only through exclusive free-standing stores, where cus tomers can buy all the merchandise that’s sold under the Gant brand. These would include their three lines of clothing for men and women—GNH, Rugger and Elliot Grant—and accessories such as caps, sunglasses, perfumes and shoes.

What kind of investment has gone into getting the brand to India?

While we have invested about Rs 7.5 crore in getting Gant to India, I would look at investments in terms of management bandwidth, as people involved with the brand are the real investment for us.

Do you plan to introduce any loyalty programmes for Indian customers?

We have a fixed set of customers, and we would rather let the class of the brand remain by introducing subtle brand loyalty programmes. We won’t have loyalty cards for our customers, but will make up by giving them with world-class service that can be found in any Gant store across the world. We are looking at 90 per cent conversion rate even as we are prepared to have lower footfall into the store because of its premium tag.