Brand Fo­cus | Guy Laroche

Guy Laroche Eyes Greater Pres­ence in In­dia

Shoes & Accessories - - Contents -

Re­cently, the In­dian re­tail land­scape was wit­ness to the en­try of fa­mous French fash­ion brand Guy Laroche through a part­ner­ship with high-end re­tailer INC5.

In a sig­nif­i­cant move, French fash­ion brand Guy Laroche has made in­roads into the In­dia’s re­tail land­scape through a part­ner­ship with high-end footwear re­tailer INC 5. The brand’s di­rec­tor Pa­naruna Raiyan said, “Through­out the fis­cal year, our mo­men­tum ac­cel­er­ated, cul­mi­nat­ing in an out­stand­ing launch per­for­mance. These re­sults re­flect our suc­cess in piv­ot­ing our busi­ness to the fastest-grow­ing ar­eas of footwear re­tail to align with con­sumers’ de­sire for qual­ity fash­ion­able prod­ucts. Through qual­ity in­no­va­tions we at­tracted new con­sumers across In­dia. We have be­gun to fur­ther im­pro­vise our or­ga­ni­za­tional ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness. Im­por­tantly, we de­liv­ered this per­for­mance in the face of ex­ter­nal global volatil­ity and one of the big­gest mo­ments of change in our in­dus­try.”

“We ex­pect the great mo­men­tum we built through­out the past year to con­tinue in fis­cal 2018. We are well po­si­tioned to de­liver strong prof­itable growth as we de­ploy our pres­tige brand port­fo­lio to new con­sumers through our re­tail as­so­ciate and ro­bust new prod­uct pipe­line, and fo­cused ex­pan­sion for mid-priced SS’18 col­lec­tion,” Raiyan stressed.

The brand claims that ef­forts will be made to ex­pand it re­tail pres­ence in the North­ern and Western parts of the coun­try, which make up the largest mar­ket in the coun­try. In ad­di­tion to the met­ros, the brand has the plan to tar­get tier-2 and tier-3 cities in the North. Raiyan elab­o­rated, “Presently, Guy Laroche prod­ucts are avail­able at INC5 out­lets in high catch­ment ar­eas such as Phoenix Mall –Mum­bai, South ExDelhi, Phoenix Mall-chen­nai. The com­pany will come up with new stores in tier-2 and tier-3 cities go­ing for­ward.”

On what is driv­ing lux­ury footwear brands, Raiyan said, “There is a dearth of qual­ity prod­uct pro­duc­ers re­tail­ing at sweet spot prices. The con­sumer has an eye for qual­ity and durable footwear, so even smaller towns are be­com­ing promis­ing mar­kets, though Ahmed­abad, Delhi, Kolkata and Mum­bai are the top four mar­kets for Guy Laroche, na­tion­ally.”

Build­ing the mar­ket

Es­tab­lished in 1957, Guy Laroche is an epony­mous brand founded by the French fash­ion de­signer. While cre­at­ing the brand, the founder had a clear aim in mind: lib­er­at­ing fash­ion­ista’s away from the New Look, to­wards a com­fort­able, un­der­stated el­e­gance both “re­fined and discreet”. He wished to up­date both the old tra­di­tion and the end prod­uct - but never, ever un­der­mine its qual­ity.

Soon, Guy Laroche launched Guy Laroche Mon­sieur, an equally eman­ci­pated line that of­fered flan­nel jack­ets, shirt jack­ets, and that paired cor­duroy suits with turtle­neck sweaters. The com­pany also started mak­ing per­fumes. In 1987, the de­signer was awarded the Lé­gion d’hon­neur by the French gov­ern­ment. In 2017, the com­pany launched its footwear col­lec­tion in In­dia. Raiyan re­marked, “We fo­cus on classy trends and func­tions across our prod­uct range. We tar­get trendy men and are build­ing an as­pi­ra­tional brand. We want to stay rel­e­vant in terms of cur­rent trends in all mar­kets.”

“The tim­ing has been right for Guy Laroche. Peo­ple are show­ing in­ter­est in qual­ity cou­pled with clas­sic trendy looks. Next decade is go­ing to be a game changer in this space,” he shared. Tra­di­tion­ally per­ceived to be a cloth­ing and fra­grance com­pany, Guy Laroche soon un­der­stood that con­sumers seek a blend of com­fort and style in ap­parel and footwear. Guy Laroche In­dia ex­pects to achieve break even in three years of its op­er­a­tions.

“In our 2018 fis­cal year, we ex­pect to see ini­tial net ben­e­fits from our lead­ing footwear col­lec­tion and we will con­tinue to fo­cus on in­creas­ing the ef­fi­ciency of our op­er­a­tions, elim­i­nat­ing non-value-added costs and gen­er­at­ing sales lever­age, while strate­gi­cally rein­vest­ing to sup­port strong and sus­tain­able growth. Our full-year out­look in con­stant cur­rency re­flects net sales growth of 18% to 20%,” the brand’s di­rec­tor in­formed Shoes & Ac­ces­sories.

The Com­pany posted sales growth in most styles and across-the-board sales gains in all geo­graphic re­gions and prod­uct cat­e­gories. Fis­cal 2017’s fourth quar­ter sales ben­e­fit­ted from in­no­va­tive new prod­ucts and dou­ble-digit growth in sev­eral metro cities.

The com­pany re­cently show­cased its SS’18 footwear col­lec­tion that will be im­pact­ing the men’s mar­ket into Spring/sum­mer 2018 and be­yond. Guy Laroche team re­vealed the key styles and themes cer­tain to be essen­tial to the next men’s col­lec­tion. In the for­mals cat­e­gory, de­tails and trims bring new lev­els of adorn­ment to men’s footwear, el­e­vat­ing clas­sic sta­ples with con­tem­po­rary com­po­nents. For­mal footwear gets an up­grade with a host of ex­cit­ing de­tail­ing de­vel­op­ments. Clas­sic Derby up­pers in premium pol­ished leathers are el­e­vated by sub­tly con­cep­tual com­po­nents and trims. San­dals get a sporty re­work, as tech­ni­cal out­door styles be­come a spring fash­ion essen­tial. Sturdy foot bed soles that cush­ion the foot, wide straps made from durable leathers and ma­te­ri­als.

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