Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director, Tablez
The organised retail arm of the prestigious Lulu International Group, Tablez holds a portfolio of 6 brands and 55 stores globally. It is poised to add 10-12 international brands in the next couple of years. VM&RD catches up with Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Dir
Tell us more about your brand portfolio and category mix.
Tablez is the organised retail arm of Lulu International. The group introduced prominent international retail brands to India and Sri Lanka. At present, Tablez India is the franchise holder for some of the worldrenowned brands across F&B, Toys, lifestyle and apparel brands and we operate through more than 25 stores in India and more than 60 outlets globally. We plan to increase the number to 300 by the end of 2020.
In the F&B segment, Tablez has successfully developed two home-grown brands that include Bloomsbury’s, an English Artisanal coffee shop and Peppermill, a fine dining colonial Indian themed restaurant. Tablez also owns franchise rights of world-class brands such as Cold Stone Creamery (handcrafted ice-cream brand from US), and Galito’s (Flame grilled chicken concept from South Africa).
In the lifestyle segment, the group has signed a master-franchise agreement with US brand Toys ‘R’ Us and currently has 2 stores in India.
In the fashion segment, the group launched the first stores of Spanish brands, Springfield and Women’secret. We currently have 4 stores of Springfield and 3 stores of Women’secret in India.
What kind of brand acquisition plan do you have in near future? Which all categories look palatable to you for a market like India?
Tablez believes in ‘Billion Dreams’ identity, a metaphor related to India’s image as an
emerging high volume market and the aspirations of its billion people. Our mission is to provide the very best experience that meets and exceeds our customers’ expectations.
We have recently closed our partnership with Chinese lifestyle brand Yoyoso. In next couple of years, we are planning to add 10-15 international brands to our portfolio across categories like sportswear, footwear and children’s clothing.
You seem to be operating mostly across South India. What’s the reason and what’s your store expansion plan for rest of India?
We are headquartered in Kochi, Kerala but we are on track to reach out to our customers across India. While, we do have stores in Kochi, Bengaluru and Chennai, we have also opened up stores in Mumbai, Pune and Delhi over the past year. With the addition of newer brands, we have plans to open our stores across Tier I, II and III cities in the coming years.
Toys ‘R’ Us has been in news for its plummeting global business. How do you foresee that brand performing in India?
We currently operate Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores in Bengaluru at Phoenix Marketcity, Whitefield and Vega City Mall. The stores have witnessed great reception from our customers, and we continue to receive positive sales response from them.
India is one of the fastest growing markets for toy retail and kids’ apparels and we see great opportunity in expanding the business. We will continue to remain bullish on opening around 7 new outlets of Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us in 6 months across India. On a longer prospect, we aim to open 65 stores by 2022.l
Adeeb Ahamed, MD, Tablez
Toys R Us