Absorba bullish about the kids segment of India


For French brand Absorba, this is just the right time for the baby boom in the India, given the increasing awareness amongst consumers for kids’ fashion. The brand is going to foray soon in India through licensing, wherein the immediate focus would be on apparel for kids and babies, revealed Karine MENUEL, Licensing head of the brand.

Talk to us about the brand’s journey so far.
Absorba is the kids brand and our prime focus is on 0 to 6 years even if the collection goes up to 10 years. The heart of the brand is 0 to 4 years. Present in about 36 countries in total. In some countries we do direct dealing, while we have licensed out in Asia and USA.

The brand was established in 1949 which places us among the league of one of the oldest brands in France that are into European markets. 34 per cent of our global sales is from departmental stores, 16 per cent from nursery stores or the specialty stores, 30 per cent is through independent retailers which is pretty big in Europe.

We have been doing this (licensing) for more than 20 years. In total we have 3600 point of sales worldwide. Also we are available at 1300 mass market point of sales that includes hypermarkets and is mainly for under garments. Then we are present in 100 corners in Tokyowhere we are present directly. If we include corners with licensees, it would be vis a vis 700 points in South korea, Thailand etc.

Talk to us about your target audiences.
Our product lines include new born line that is from 0 to 12 months; late line which goes from 1 month to 23 months; mini line is from 6 months to 6 years. Also, we have a complete night wear line, and a short collection of underwear line. Earlier we had kids line from 4 to 14 years that we’ve discontinued as that age group is not what we are targeting.

Why do you think of licensing as an effective retail strategy?
Amongst entire portfolio of Kidiliz Group, it is Absorba that does licensing the most. Some licensees develop the product categories that we are not present into. Then you can mark you presence across channels depending upon the target audiences.

Talk to us about your plans to scale up.
Absorba in original collection specializes in apparel so we don’t have any other line or category, which is the restraint of Absorba. Later we launched nursery line which includes blankets, bed sheets and soft toys. Soon we are going to sign a license for footwear with one of the biggest French shoemaking company – Shoemaker and the collection would be out by next year. Then we are going to sign licensing deal for nursery bags, folding beds.

What are your plans for India?
We would like to start with apparel in India of course to enter the retail business. In second step, we will focus on other categories. Shoes, eyewear, cosmetics etc are a part of our strategy. Other than apparel, we are going to do footwear in India compared to the class and revenue and people who can afford the brand. It is to find the right retail strategy. So it is either we freeze a chain of stores for babies and kids and then some departmental stores where we could come in shop-in-shop formats