Published in The Economic Times
COIMBATORE: The Tirupur-based Rs 425-crore Royal Classic Group (RCG) has launched two high fashion t-shirt brands — Fresco and Ce-10 — for the domestic market. With orders from American and European markets seeing a decline, the textile major had shifted focus to the domestic market earlier this year.
RCG executive director TR Sivaram told ET that a third of its business now comes from the domestic market while the remaining is dependent on the US and European markets. “We are slowly reducing our exposure to exports and diverting our capacity to service the domestic market,” he added.
“We were earlier exporting many value-added products to the US and Europe. During the recession, we shifted our focus to basic products. As a result, machines procured for manufacturing high-end products were lying idle. Now, we have diverted them for our new brands,” Mr. Sivaram said.
Last year, its branded category sales stood at Rs 65 crore. “We are hoping to close 2009-10 at around Rs 90 crore,” he added. RCG hopes to generate revenues of Rs 8 crore from the two new brands.
An extension from Classic Polo stable, both Fresco (pocketless t-shirts) and Ce-10 (round-neck tees) are targeted at youngsters in the 20-30 year age group. The company did a pilot launch of Fresco at its exclusive stores and a few multi-brand outlets last month Mr. Sivaram said.
“Classic Polo t-shirts have pockets and are formal while Fresco has been designed creatively to suit urban youth tastes,” he said.
About 50% of the Indian population is below 30 years of age and fashion is an attitude for the young audience. “So, we have come out with our second brand line to attract them. We have incorporated all elements like cut and sew, embroidery, prints, embellishments, styling, and designing to meet up to their expectations,” he added.
While the Fresco range is priced between Rs 599 and Rs 699, Ce-10 would cost under Rs 299 apiece. The company will test it at its exclusive outlets before introducing it to the mass markets, RCG VP (brands & operations) Usha Periasamy said.
By March 2010, it proposes to raise its store count to 100 from its existing 76 stores. The brand is also available at 4000 MBOs (multi-brand outlets) across the country covering metros as well as tier-II and III cities.