Exclusive Q&A With : J Suresh (JS), Managing Director and CEO of Arvind Lifestyle and Kenneth Ohashi (KO)
Updated on: 30 Jun 2016
Less than two months after filing for bankruptcy, which followed 13 consecutive months of losses, US teen retail major Aeropostale opened its maiden store in Mumbai. With global sales of $1.5 billion, the brand is going to be aggressive with its expansion plans, sensing a massive appetite for branded apparel from its target customers in the age group between 15 and 25 years. Aeropostale is being brought to India by Arvind Lifestyle. J Suresh (JS), managing director and CEO of Arvind Lifestyle and Kenneth Ohashi (KO), senior vice-president, Aeropostale told Priyanka Ghosh about the brand's India strategy and expansion plans.Excerpts:
We have seen a series of fast fashion retailers setting up stores in India lately. In particular, Forever 21, which also is a young adult fashion brand. In terms of products and prices, what are your thoughts on competition in the segment?
JS : The apparel segment in India is estimated at $40 billion and the most major competition that Aeropostale has is no more than $200 million at the moment so there is room for a number of brands to enter the market. The more pertinent issue is how to lure consumers and not on how to tackle competition. Besides, the USP of the brand is that it is logo driven, it has equal offering for both men and women and the price points.
Could you elaborate on the prices a little more?
JS: We are not at the bottom of the pyramid — I think R599 and R699 are considered real attractive entry prices — Aeropostale prices will be about R899 and R999 but it is less than R1,399 and R1,499, which are the more luxury brand prices.
How critical is the India strategy, given the financial crisis that the company is in?