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Future Group pumps in Rs 100 cr for premium menswear foray

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LOGO-lombardIn a bid to cement its position in the Rs 20,000 crore formal menswear industry in India, Future Group’s menswear brand Lombard has announced its foray into the fine fabric segment with the launch of a premium range of readymade apparel and accessories.

Until now, Lombard retailed its readymade garments through Future Group formats such as Central and Indus League-owned formats. But with the diversification of the product portfolio, which now includes formal wear (suits, shirts, trousers) and accessories (cufflinks, wallets and belts), the brand is nursing plans of establishing itself as a separate vertical, competing against other premium players such as Reid & Taylor and Raymond, and reach out to a wider distribution network comprising wholesalers, multi-brand outlets and exclusive stores.

Positioned as a high-end label, Lombard will target the SEC A male audience in the age-group of 20 to 45 years. Its prices will range from Rs 500 a metre to Rs 13,000 a metre.

Ashwani-Misra

Ashwani Misra, President, Lombard

With an aggressive marketing strategy that encompasses product portfolio and distribution and retail expansion, Future Group is eyeing a turnover of Rs 500 crore in five years. However, while Ashwani Misra, President, Lombard senses huge opportunity and potential in the Rs 3,000-crore premium formal menswear market, players such as Raymond and Reid & Taylor have already secured a firm footing and a loyal customer base in this segment. Creating a distinctive differentiation, therefore, might pose a challenge for a new entrant. To this Misra remarks, “The problem with these existing players is of excess availability and lack of innovations in product portfolio. Lombard will focus on the product, trade relationships and distribution network.”

The total investment that has gone into this entire branding and product diversification is Rs 100 crore. Of this, around 20 to 25 per cent has been allocated for marketing. The first campaign, which will centre on the brand’s core proposition of power, will roll out in September 2013. This will be a 360-degree communication plan, including a television commercial, use of print, OOH and POP activations.

In terms of distribution, the company plans to increase its distribution network with presence across India through over 750 MBOs (Multi-brand Outlets) and 50 EBOs (Exclusive Brand Outlets).

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Neeta Nair

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