Pepe Jeans to sell footwear, accessories in India from early next year

New Delhi: British denim wear brand Pepe Jeans London will start selling non-apparel products like footwear and accessories such as sunglasses from its international range in India from early next year. By the end of this year, Pepe Jeans will also start selling inner wear across top 20 stores of the company, Pepe Jeans India chief executive officer Kavindra Mishra said.

The company started expanding its product portfolio earlier this year with kidswear. At present, it sells kidswear in select stores in Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. “The Pepe Jeans Kids Wear sales, especially in large format stores, have even surpassed that of brands like United Colors of Benetton Kids and US Polo Kids,” he added.

For Pepe Jeans, India is one of the top two markets in value terms after it doubled its business in the past three years to Rs.730 crore (retail value). “Over the next three years, we aim to double our business,” said Mishra.

Pepe Jeans currently has 200 stores in India, and the brand adds this count by 10-15 stores each year. Its products are also sold across more than 700 multi-brand outlets and online marketplaces like Myntra and Jabong. Denim wear market in India is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15% to reach Rs.27,200 crore by 2018, according to a report by retail consulting firm Technopak Advisors. Other major companies in the denim wear market in India include Levi’s, Lee, Wrangler, Spykar, Numero Uno and Killer.

As part of its marketing initiative, Pepe Jeans has set up a custom studio in one of its flagship stores in the capital, where consumers can get their denims stamped with their choice of names or designs. The concept, which exists internationally and is being expanded throughout Europe, has been introduced in India for the first time. “We received a phenomenal response. We now plan to have a few more such studios in some of our flagship stores,” said Mishra.

The company sold 3.7 million pieces of apparels in India last year, most of which were imported from countries like China and Taiwan. “This year, we’ll sell around 4.5 million pieces,” said Mishra.

Pepe Jeans is also working on developing India as a sourcing hub. “We started sourcing from India at the end of last year. At present, Pepe Jeans sources products such as women’s topwear, woven and knitswear. Gradually, this will increase,” he added. Last year, it sourced just about 1 million pieces from India.

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