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Biba Apparels to ramp up store expansion

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-03-2017 Deepti Govind

Bengaluru: Women’s ethic wear firm Biba Apparels Ltd plans to ramp up its store expansion over the next couple of years, especially of its value fashion brand Rangriti, and is looking at adding fashion jewellery to the product portfolio at its flagship Biba outlets.

The company, which counts Warburg Pincus and Faering Capital among its investors, began operations from founder and chairperson Meena Bindra’s home in Mumbai in 1988 with a bank loan of just Rs8,000. It has since grown to become a near-Rs400 crore business and now has three brands – Biba, Rangriti and Indian by Manish – under its umbrella.

Rangriti, the firm’s youngest brand, began around two years ago and is currently sold through 22 standalone stores and via other retail formats, including large multi-brand outlets and online marketplaces. The plan is to open another 100 standalone Rangriti outlets in the next financial year.

“We’ve opened 10 stores in Bihar and then we will be moving into Uttar Pradesh. We’re also in 100 Reliance Trends stores and have launched it in Shoppers Stop, Myntra, Jabong, Amazon etc. (But) the whole idea there was also to go through local retail and capture market share from the unbranded segment. So we’re also selling through around 800 standalone mom-and-pop stores or larger departmental stores,” said Siddharth Bindra, the firm’s managing director.

The company’s revenue grew 32.73% to Rs380.79 crore in the financial year 2014-15 versus the previous year, according to its filing with the Registrar of Companies. Bindra declined to give revenue growth targets for 2016-17 and the year after.

Biba Apparels opened its first standalone kids’ wear store in Bengaluru last year. It currently has two stores and a third one is going to come up in Mumbai, the company said without divulging a timeframe. It plans to open at least 10 more kids’ wear stores over the next 6-12 months.

The firm typically opens around 45-50 new Biba stores a year and now plans to add 150-200 stores over the next 2-3 years, taking the average count per year to roughly over 60. It currently has around 230 Biba standalone outlets.

“We are looking at an addition into jewellery (at our Biba stores). So fashion accessories as well as bags – these are two areas where we clearly see an opportunity for brand extension. No timeline on it, but these are two immediate extensions we’ve now started working on,” Bindra said.

However, the company is not planning on entering any new apparel categories — like sarees, western wear or men’s ethnic wear — over the next 3-4 years as the focus is on increasing its market share from 1% to 5%, Bindra added.

But it is going to launch a new autumn/winter apparel line for Biba by designer Manish Arora during Diwali this year. The company acquired a 51% stake in the designer’s ‘Indian by Manish Arora’ label in 2012 but this will be the first co-branded line it is launching with design labels that it has invested in. Anju Modi is the other designer label that Biba Apparels is invested in with a 35-40% minority stake that it picked up in 2014.

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