VIP Clothing, which gets 85 to 90 percent of its revenue from the men’s undergarment segment and the rest largely from the women’s category (VIP Feelings), is looking to expand its presence geographically and broaden its product portfolio to drive growth, said Sunil Pathare, Chairman and Managing Director, in conversation with MediaNews4u.com.
“All the categories are growing. We are trying to capture Southern pockets from the portfolio of the trunk market. Feelings is more popular in the Southern part and we are focusing to expand the base in the women’s category. Frenchie is planning the launch of new products which will be relevant to a younger audience in the country at various price points and styling,” explained Pathare.
Around 50 to 55 pc of the company’s turnover is from South India followed by West and North and East. “In the coming financial year, we will be focused on some of the Eastern markets which will definitely contribute to the brand’s growth. VIP is also planning to add more products to the portfolio,” noted the spokesperson.
Innovation in the works
The women’s offering is going to be expanded with more bras, lingerie, and camisoles. The brand will expand with its Feelings folio into the hitherto largely untouched West and North markets, said the CMD.
Asked about the increased need for innovation in the age of D2C brands in the category, especially in the women’s lingerie space, Pathare noted that VIP moved into D2C only recently and online sales contributes just 2 pc to the total. However, he sees both marketplaces and its own platform contributing significantly more in the years ahead.
“We are known for our innovation, not only on women’s portfolio, but on all categories of the brand. In terms of styling, which is the need of the hour, we are bringing in changes. There are a lot of expansion plans on the cards. Certain premium products will be launched across all categories,” he added.
Catch them young?
Frenchie launched a sub-brand ‘U-19’ for boys aged 13 to 19 years earlier this year. After a D2C launch, the brand forayed into Delhi.
“Frenchie U-19 would be the first teenager-focused innerwear portfolio in India. If you look at the innerwear category for teenagers, there are not many options available. There is a problem of size of the undergarments for them. They have to buy either ‘XL’ of a kids brand or an ‘S’ size of the mens category. We thought through and a collection of 15 products has been launched in e-commerce in February. This was followed by the launch in Delhi and NCR in March. We are expanding it into another 22 cities in the country, among which metros and Tier 1 cities are in focus for now. The price points are very competitive. The MRP is between Rs.150 to 200,” Pathare explained.
The promos for this launch will be largely digital.
“Teenagers are more tech savvy and are on digital platforms. BTL activities are also on cards. We have launched #FrenchieHaiToFunHai campaign and we are planning a lot of other things around that. We have initiated influencer marketing and other digital marketing initiatives will be started soon,” he added.
Because when you wear a Frenchie, fun is always a part of your daily routine #FrenchieHaiTohFunHai
.#frenchieu19 #DiscoverYourStyle #InnerwearUpgrade #frenchieu19 #innerwear #innerwearcollection #teensinnerwear #teenageinnerwear #teenage #teenagerslife #teenageposts #teenager pic.twitter.com/7BhyMqg9M1
— Frenchie_Life (@Frenchie_Life) March 27, 2023
The campaign is live on social media platforms.
“Teenagers of today are very cool, casual, and confident. The objective was to build on those factors and that is what Frenchie as a brand is representing,” Pathare surmised.
“Print in certain cases like in-flight magazines and certain magazines in the South is still relevant. It is a pick and choose option when it comes to the print medium. We will be moving more towards digital marketing for all the product categories. The company will be spending on OOH as well. TV is not on the cards. We are in the process of fundraising. Once it is completed, we will plan activities around that medium. Our spends will be skewed towards digital followed by OOH, and then print,” Pathare elaborated.
Contribution from Tier-2 and 3 would be around 60 pc of the total, while rural markets lend themselves better to lower price points, noted the spokesperson.
The brand is present at over 25,000 outlets across India. In 2022, VIP opened its first franchise store in Kerala and revealed plans to open 100 franchise outlets in the next five years.
Besides Kerala, it also opened a store in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. In the next financial year, it intends to open 10 to 15 stores, according to the Chairman. “Retail stores require a balance of innerwear plus out(er)wear. We are waiting to expand and launch new products in our outwear range.” he added.
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