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Raymond's expanding to Europe, US with 'made to measure' stores

05 February 2014

Textile and apparels brand Raymond's is all set to expand into the developed markets of the US, Europe and East Asia with its `Made to Measure (MTM)' stores. The company is currently looking for partners to expand its overseas business network, with plans to invest around Rs200 crore.

Raymond's, which promotes its almost 90-year-old brand under the 'Complete Man' concept, already sells its products in these markets, but as a B2B partner.

''The bespoke model under Made to Measure is a more relevant proposition for the developed economies, and today, we are ready for a global footprint in Europe, America and East Asia,'' said Sanjay Behl, CEO of Raymond's.

''We can also improve our gross margins by becoming the preferred supplier for worsted fabrics and garments and become an integrated solutions provider for the global market. From being a power brand in India, we want to become a global icon in lifestyle in the next five to 10 years,'' he added.

Raymond's already has about 20 MTM stores across South and West Asia, besides the 70 MTM stores in the domestic market.

The company plans to enter the developed markets through franchisee model and is likely to appoint master franchisees for its garment brands such as Raymond Premium Apparel, Park Avenue, Parx and Color Plus.

Raymond's plans to take the total number of MTM stores to 300 in three years.

''We are scaling up our Made to Measure stores in the metros while the expansion of 'The Raymond Store' will happen in the smaller tier 2 cities,'' added Behl.

''While consumers will vouch for Raymond fabrics, it is weak in the ready-to-wear segment. Despite its heritage, Raymond has been an under-leveraged brand in apparel and it's the third largest apparel player after Madura Garments and Arvind today,'' he said.

The company has appointed a new advertising agency, Strawberry Frog, to reposition its brands in the competitive market.

It may also re-enter the woman's and kids' wear segments through acquisitions.

At the same time it is looking at new sources of funds, including private equity and monetising its land assets, to finance expansion.

However, Raymond's remain more of a textile brand as about Rs3,700 crore of its total sales turnover of Rs4,500 crore came from textiles.

''Textiles will remain the cash-cow for the company, while in apparel, it would be about investments. Retail margins are still higher in textiles at 25 per cent, while in apparel, it's at 10 per cent,'' added Behl.

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