Pantaloons to step into women’s footwear and handbag categories

Pantaloons Fashion, which is now a part of Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail and Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, plans to venture into women‘s footwear and handbag categories, while opening stores in new cities.
Pantaloons Fashion also aims to continue its focus on its core category of ethnic and western women’s as well as kids’ wear. Madura Garments, which previously used to be a wholesale entity has transformed into a retail focused company with retail contribution moving up from 14 per cent to 45 per cent, following its merger with the Aditya Birla group.
The company has successfully moved from being a discount store brand in the late 90s to affordable branded fashion now, the company said at an investors’ presentation, last week.
Growth in the apparel market will be primarily driven by growth in modern retail. Estimated at 25 per cent of the total apparel market in FY16, the modern apparel retail market is poised to grow sharply over the next five years to contribute a share of 38 per cent, the company said.
Per capita consumption of apparel is very low in India in comparison with other countries. Changing trends of economy will bring about an increase in per capita consumption and the trend is likely to continue through 2020 and beyond. Further, changing consumer habits and growth of online retail will lead to an increase in demand for modern retail, the company said, adding that it was gearing up to latch on to the opportunity.
With over 1,850 EBOs and 48,00,000 square foot. of retail space under its possession, Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail owns the largest retail network in India, operating in over 185 cities and towns.
The company has launched 25 new stores, moving from a run rate of a new store every two months prior to the acquisition to a new store every two weeks in FY15. The company is also setting up a new in-house Design Studio, recruiting experts in product design, brand aesthetics and fixture design.

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