MUFTI mulls foray into new apparel categories, footwear

It also plans to add 30-40 stores this year and plans to expand aggressively in southern and eastern India.

Known for their denim apparel, MUFTI is now looking at using their talent and market position to make the right kind of noise in the market. Vipul Mathur, COO at MUFTI, talks to Moneycontrol on its targets to enter newer markets and product categories in the coming fiscal.

Q. You have launched a new footwear brand. Tell us about it.

A. Over the last 12 months, MUFTI has launched a select range of footwear in its top 100 stores to gauge consumer sentiment. With the response we have received, the brand is now looking to beef up the distribution of its footwear collection in 500 plus locations comprising of multi-brand outlets, its stand-alone stores and its existing network of retailers in the coming year.

MUFTI's Footwear inventory comes under the broad category of lifestyle segment which has casual lifestyle and sports lifestyle collections and priced between Rs 3299 and Rs 3999.

Q. Why enter the shoe market?

A. With the current estimated size of Rs 34,400 crores, the footwear segment is expected to grow over Rs 55,400 crores in the coming five years. The expansion into the footwear segment is a part of the company’s vision of becoming a Rs 1000 crore brand on MRP in the coming 3 years.

Our primary focus continues to be on delivering more value to the customer with our products as we begin to expand into newer categories.

Q. You are known for your line of denim apparel- How is that business doing? Is competition from new brands and e-commerce making you take a beating?

A. Ecommerce is definitely bringing in competition but on the other hand it has also increased people’s propensity to buy. People now don’t just shop on Diwali, Holi or festivals, but throughout the year. We welcome this change. To compete with discounts, we also provide them, but only on stocks from the previous season and that creates a clear demarcation between the new and old stock.

As for our clothes brand, we are running a profit and would touch Rs400 crore revenue at the end of FY18-19. We are also launching Athleisure — a combination of active wear and casual wear. The stocks should hit the shelves in April this year.

Q. Are you hiring new talent?

We are using our internal talent and external partnerships to create the right noise in the market. Our brand ambassador Kartik Aryan is also helping us create the right kind of buzz.

Q. What are your expansion plans?

We are going to add 30-40 stores this year and increase out large format stores in all the metros and in Hyderabad, Patna and Pune. We are alaso planning to expand aggressively in the South and East India, where are the brand is not as popular as it is in the North and West.

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