- Meenakshi Kumar |
Winter wear manufacturer Smag is keeping its finger crossed this winter season. After last year’s tepid sales, it is hoping for a good season. The Autumn Winter collection has nylon and cotton based fabrics in jackets, grindle and other fancy yarns for sweatshirts and cotton for sweaters. The colour palette is mostly earthy tones.
Smag is known for offering value for money products. The designs are similar to those being offered by international brands. The emphasis is on quality and smart pricing. Its regular range includes jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts and full sleeve T-shirts. It also makes heavy jackets but this year the demand has been less.
Vikas Kharbanda, Director, Smag, says, “We believe in volumes and make sure quality isn’t comprised. Smag’s pricing is not low, rather it is smart. The most important thing is to understand your customers.”
Cottlin helps the brand to grow
In addition to its winter wear, Smag also has a big range of cotton products. And to sell these it introduced Cottlin in 2008 exclusively in EBOs. These stores help the brand grow. As of now there are 15 Cottlin stores in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. But they plan to expand in the near future. However, Smag as a brand is present through distributors all over India except Kerala, which they hope to tap next year. The maximum growth for the brand has come from states such as Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and the Northeast states.
Winter wear market is all about moolah
According to industry estimates, the annual winter wear market is around 2.3 billion dollar (Rs 15,300 crores). It definitely spells big business as many companies which primarily make summer wear also launch a winter wear range to rake in the moolah. In India, the winter wear market is clearly segmented into branded and non-branded players, the ratio being 70:30, with 70 per cent players being from non-branded segment. With the entry of many global brands, competition has intensified. Homegrown brands are now innovating and offering latest styles to keep up with their competitors.
Smag has been manufacturing garments for bigger brands such as Amazon, Madura and so on. The largest selling item in their inventory is jacket, followed by pullovers, sweatshirts and sweaters. Smag started in 1995. “Currently, we are available in 700-750 MBOs, nine EBOs and two LFS. Plans are to open around 15 EBOs through the distribution channel across India. Smag products are also available online through a few websites,” says Kharbanda.