Licensing becomes essential in kidswear segment: Vasanth Kumar, Max Fashion

Margins have been bothering the retailers since long. In a bid to stay on priority list of consumers, off late the retailers have tweaked their business model by swiftly hopping on to the brand licens...
Licensing becomes essential in kidswear segment: Vasanth Kumar, Max Fashion

Margins have been bothering the retailers since long. In a bid to stay on priority list of consumers, off late the retailers have tweaked their business model by swiftly hopping on to the brand licensing bandwagon. The retailers are not just entering promotional deals, but also inking direct-to-retail licensing deals while slipping into the shoe of licensee. Max fashion India has inked pacts with some of the celebrated brands including Disney India for apparels. In a candid conversation with license India, Vasanth Kumar, Executive Director, Max Fashion India shares what makes brand licensing an effective retail strategy for his brand.

How do you plan to push your private labels?

Max is 100 per cent private label brand. By promoting Max brand through such brand licensing associations, customer engagement increases thereby help us to build the brand among the youth in particular. This is essentially in kids wear category where iconic characters are a big draw for consumers. We have introduced these lines through licence tie ups with various brands including Disney India.

What is your take on direct to retail deals (the one you had with Disney for Jungle Book).

Since Max is a private label with own retail, the impact through such partnerships is quite good. Such alliances help a lot in connecting with the target segment essentially kids below 12 years. One of the many benefits of the direct to retail deals is the exclusivity and superior brand connect that we enjoy.

What is your take on movie licensing or movie merchandise?

Movie based merchandise will surely help in leveraging the brand among the right target group and will benefit the brand from the popularity of the movie.

What will be your step forward with omni-channel integration to offer unified experience to the consumers?

Our first step is to pilot “ENDLESS AISLE” in select stores in Bangalore. We will then start providing Wi-Fi at more stores and engage customers digitally through their mobile phones. The rollout of Omni-channel will the third stage.

Tell us about current retail presence and future expansion plans across which different geographies.

We are now close to 180 stores across 75 cities and we will be adding another 40 stores in 2017 making it reach 220 across 85 cities. The investment for our stores is Rs 5 crore which includes Rs. 2.5 crore for fitout and Rs 2.5 crore as working capital.

What is your current revenue and future target?

Max is growing at CAGR OF 32-33 per cent since launch a decade ago. The target for 2016-17 is Rs. 2400 Cr while we are eying at Rs. 3,000 crore for 2017-18. Also, we intend to touch the figure of Rs. 5,000 crore by 2020-21.

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