Amid rising demand for linen fabrics, Jaya Shree Textiles, an Aditya Birla Group company, plans to add around 156 Linen Club stores to its retail chain— taking the total count to 300— by 2020. At present, Jaya Shree has 144 Linen Club stores operational in the country. As per Thomas Varghese, business head – textiles, Aditya Birla Group, the company would invest about `60 lakh to `70 lakh for each store with an area ranging from 1,200 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft. It would be a mix of company-owned stores and franchisees, he added.
The company opened its first Linen Club store in Hyderabad in 2002, but it took time for the company to expand the retail format aggressively as the fabric has taken time for awareness and acceptance by customers. “The demand for the fabric has grown with a shift in trend from formals to casual and comfort wear, Varghese said. Initial expansion will be in the existing markets in southern and western region, while the company plans to enter the northern region sometime this year.
The company already has a store overseas in Muscat and plans to open a few more in the region in the next couple of years. Rajesh Vig, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “Linen fabric commands a premium of 35% to 40% over cotton. The annual demand is growing by at least 15% to 20% annually. Linen is a fabric worn for comfort and, given the hot climate in India, its demand is increasing.”
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