Citing low demand for denims, and facing stiff competitionfrom non-denim makers like chinos and cargos, denim brands including Levi’s, Lee, Wrangler and others are worried about business ahead. And now they are making efforts push up denim consumption in India. In the pipeline are plans to ramp up retail presence, sell denims on EMIs and even sell non-denim apparel within stores to boost walk-ins.
For example, Arvind Lifestyle, a flagship of the Rs 3,500-crores Arvind, plans to aggressively scale up its Flying Machine brand, by opening 100 Flying Machine stores every year. The company currently has about 90 stores in India. Besides, it is also looking to scale up the retail presence of its dozen other brands including Lee, Wrangler, US Polo and Tommy Hilfiger, which are marketed in joint venture partnerships or licensing arrangements.
While globally, denim is a 57-billion dollars (Rs 3,15,894-crores) industry growing at a compunded annual growth rate of 3-5 percent, the Indian market is quite small at Rs 7,700 crores, according to consultancy firm Wazir Advisors. While an American owns an average of eight pairs of jeans, an Indian has just a fraction, at 0.35, with even a Chinese national ahead with one pair of jeans bought every year.
Even Levi Strauss India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of American denim firm Levi Strauss & Co, has introduced EMI schemes to push consumers into buying a pair of jeans. It has also put a stop to expanding its low-cost denim brand Denizens and is focusing on the flagship Levi's franchisee.