The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Madura brand wardrobe to wear a new look

Mumbai, Oct. 24: Madura Garments, the readymade garment division of Indian Rayon and Industries Ltd, plans a rejig of its brand portfolio, that entails pulling out the San Frisco range of trousers, venturing into the jeans segment, besides taking a fresh look at its Byford brand.

The change in strategy has come about at a time when the company has been facing intense competition in the economy category, which, coupled with the tough times, has resulted in heavy discounting. Senior company officials however told The Telegraph that the division has taken a conscious decision of not resorting to offering discounts, even if such a move led to a fall in volumes.

Under such circumstances, Madura Garments is now focussing on its premium brands, launching a slew of initiatives to further entrench its market share that include greater distribution network, venturing into suits and blazers and women’s wear.

While the division has in its portfolio brands like Allen Solly, Peter England, Van Heusen and Louis Phillipe, Vikram Rao, director Indian Rayon, said it is withdrawing the San Frisco range of formal trousers as it was directly competing against Peter England. Moreover, he said, the company would also have a “re-look on what to do” for Byford. Rao however, did not elaborate further on the plans for Byford.

Madura Garments is now test marketing its jeans under the San Frisco brand in Bangalore, which, according to Rao, has received good response. Hinting that the jeans could also be marketed under the Allen Solly brand name, sources said that the division is expected to source denim from domestic suppliers once it firms up a decision on this front, sources added.

“Madura Garments has brought in a novel range of knitwear T-shirts named Elements, apart from which, we would also be expanding our retail presence through Planet Fashion and Trouser Town. We are also building new segments like women’s wear, suits and jeans,” Rao said.

Meanwhile, Indian Rayon turned in a better performance for the second quarter of the current financial year, with net profit rising by a whopping 150 per cent to Rs 37.73 crore, from Rs 15.12 crore a year ago. Turnover rose to Rs 449.15 crore, up 11 per cent from the September quarter last year. Indian Rayon added that the viscose filament yarn, insulators and carbon black divisions have been the major growth drivers.

However, its garment division saw lower sales volumes at 16 lakh pieces against 19.7 lakh pieces last year. Turnover of Madura Garments during the quarter was also lower by 4 per cent at Rs 89.1 crore, against Rs 93 crore a year back.

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