| Prosenjit in the Lux Cozi campaign
Popular sentiment over Rizwanur Rahman’s mysterious death has spilled over from city streets to retail racks, hitting businessman Ashok Todi where it hurts most.
While the lawmakers are yet to initiate any action against Todi, his brand — the Rs 200-crore-plus Lux Cozi — has taken a beating this festive season.
The company sells a wide variety of briefs, vests, thermals, round-neck T-shirts, bermudas and socks under the Lux Cozi brand name.
“They compete in the medium category, where there is hardly any brand consciousness. But over the past few days, many customers have made it clear that they did not want Lux Cozi,” said R.N. Dey, the owner of The Hosiery Stores in New Market.
According to Dey, the most striking feature is while sales of other brands, like Rupa, Raju and Amul, have risen by at least 20 to 30 per cent in comparison with last year, Lux Cozi products are sliding.
Repeated efforts to reach Lux Cozi officials drew a blank. When Metro visited the company headquarters at 39 Kali Krishna Tagore Street for an official response on the brand’s performance in the festive season, a company representative said: “We have been told not to speak to The Telegraph.”
Sales in the hosiery industry are seasonal in nature and for most companies, the festive season sale — during Id and Durga puja — constitutes around 40 to 50 per cent of the annual trade volume.
“The timing has been bad for them and the poor show in the past month is bound to affect their balance-sheet,” said a hosiery industry insider.
“Last year, we sold 30 boxes of briefs and vests each of Lux Cozi in the festive season. This year, we haven’t yet sold 10 boxes,” said Sourav Das of Amiya Kumar Das, a hosiery shop in New Market.
Besides losing retail shoppers in New Market, Lux Cozi, a brand endorsed by big names like Sunny Deol and Prosenjit, has also lost favour in the wholesale market in Burrabazar.
“Small retailers come and pick up hosiery products from us before Id and Durga puja. Lux Cozi was a strong brand in this segment. But things have changed this year,” said S. Kumar, of Kasturchand-Anandilall Fancy Hosiery Merchant, on MG Road.
Not just the consumers, even the most visible brand ambassador in these parts has decided to distance himself from Lux Cozi.
“My contract ends after Puja 2007. I am not going into another contract, even if they approach me,” Prosenjit told Metro.