The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pantaloon’s Springboard for wider market

Mumbai, March 21: With designers taking to the pret-a-porter or the ready-to-wear lines, retailing major Pantaloon Retail (India) has launched Springboard, a line that will make available such collections at an affordable price.

Pantaloons follows companies like Raymonds which has started retail stores branded Be featuring top designers in the country. The company expects the business to yield good returns even though the market for such collections is not huge.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Kishore Biyani, chief knowledge officer of Pantaloon Retail, said the company decided on the line as some customers wanted something different. “This market may not be huge, but it is evolving,” he added.

The line, to be introduced in a phased manner across major cities where the company has a presence, will have price tags ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 12,000. “The collection will be readily available to our clients. They will not have to look elsewhere,” Biyani observed.

The company has already test-launched pret lines of around three designers and a full-scale launch is scheduled for April, Biyani said. Some of the designers who have been roped in are Rohit Bal, Raghavendra Rathore, Ashish Soni, and Sonal Mansingka.

Pantaloons is also planning to expand its product portfolio to include footwear and home accessories. The company has also chalked out expansion plans, which will transform it into a Rs 1000-crore company by 2005.

The company plans to expand its operations in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Nagpur, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bhubneshwar, Jaipur and Indore among others. “We will open stores across 22 cities in the country over the next two years,” Biyani said.

For the year ended March 31, 2002, the company reported a turnover of Rs 280.03 crore with net profit at over Rs 7 crore.

The company, which was incorporated in 1987, has evolved from a manufacturing concern to a manufacturer-retailer, integrated along the entire value chain.

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