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Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail plans major retail expansion this year

By Meenakshi Kumar


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Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) plans to open more than 500 outlets this year. As of now, there are some 3,000 outlets. ABFRL is the country’s largest clothing company with brands like Louis Philippe, Pantaloons, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England in its stable. The plan is to launch a new mass-market ethnic wear brand. Same-store sales growth of the company’s lifestyle brand division at 15 per cent was one of its highest ever during the last quarter while Pantaloons that opened over 40 doors in a year reported record operating profit at Rs 109 crores with margins crossing ten per cent for the first time. Also, it will put a 12-season inventory model which will help in bringing freshness to the assortment mix and allow trade partners to right stock the inventory. With annual sales worth Rs 8,117 crores in fiscal ’19, ABFRL has a strong presence across men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, but it is largely restricted to western wear formats. The firm is betting on consumers shifting from the unorganised market to branded apparel.

The overall apparel market in India is valued at Rs 5.3 lakh crores. The overall economic slowdown has made most retailers go slow on increasing their brick-and-mortar network and shifting focus to online.