Global denim and casual wear brand Pepe Jeans will step up its presence in the country by opening 50 more stores this year and is also looking to enter the innerwear segment, a senior company official has said. In the innerwear segment, the company is planning to begin with men’s products and then will subsequently move into other categories. “Our target is to open 50 stores in India, which will take our store count to 270 by the end of this year,” Kavindra Mishra, MD, and CEO of Pepe Jeans India, told PTI. “We are also looking at launching a separate company for innerwear through a joint venture this year,” he added, without divulging any further details. Pepe Jeans has been in the process of stepping up its presence here by launching different product lines in the past few years.
Last year, it entered the kidswear segment and hopes to manufacture up to a million pieces for the category this year, Mishra indicated. The company has also been manufacturing and exporting for its global supply chain. “We are manufacturing nearly a million pieces every year for the global line of Pepe Jeans taking forward the prime minister’s Make In India initiative,” he said. Pepe Jeans is also piecing together its Omni-channel strategy, which will roll out by March this financial year, he said. While Mishra did not reveal the investments in their new initiatives, he said the marketing spends for the company have gone up by 50 percent. Pepe Jeans India presently sells through 1,500 points of sale and about 5 percent of its sales comes through online channels.
When asked about online discounting, Mishra said, “Online is a great method for discovery. It is not meant for discounting. People have abused discounting model.” “It is the brand’s responsibility that the consumer does not feel cheated whether he shops in a departmental store or online. I believe in maintaining price parity,” he added. In the run up to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation on July 1, clothing brands are slashing prices to liquidate their existing stocks. When asked about GST preparedness, Mishra said the company is about “95 per cent GST-ready”, and has been working with compliant vendors only since the beginning of 2017.