Observes Westside general manager (marketing) Himanshu Chakrawarti: The sub-Rs 500 mens shirt category Richmond, which we launched in April 03, is helping us acquire new customers. Weve also seen that many customers who are used to buying top-end brands are increasingly trying our in-house and value-for-money labels.
Enthused by the response, Westside is contemplating offering trousers under its in-house Richmond label. Recently, Westside has been trying to develop category killers with kids tops at Rs 99, mens T-shirts and girls tops at Rs 199, kids jeans at Rs 299, ladies jeans at Rs 399, and mugs at Rs 29.
Offering competitive pricing to the consumers is turning out to be one of the biggest challenges for retailers. While the Westside retailing model has been, since its inception, focused on developing its own in-house labels through a host of outsourcing alliances, other major retailing houses like Shoppers Stop are also awaking to the new reality.
Commenting on the impact of new initiatives, Mr Chakrawarti said: Revenue per unit sold has marginally increased while margin per unit sold has held onto the earlier level. This takes into account the fact that weve to cater to the needs of style-consciouswhich entails fashion inputs from various countries as well as our design teams trips to foreign destinations.
During its recent Annual General Meeting, Trent has indicated that it would have a Westside network of 20 stores with an aggregate space of 4 lakh sqft by by 04-05up from 2.25 lakh sqft currently. Since April 2003, Westside has opened one store each in Mumbai (15,000 sqft), Ahmedabad (30,000 sqft) and Noida, near Delhi (15,000 sqft).
Westside is looking at three more by March 2004two in Mumbai with each occupying around 17,000 sqft and one in Bangalore with 25,000 sqft.