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‘Raymond will not enter womenswear segment’: Group CMD

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India’s top textile and apparel manufacturer and retailer Raymond Limited has made several changes in its business approach, of late, to keep up with the shifting customer preferences and ever-evolving fashion landscape. From the repositioning of some of its brands to expanding product portfolios with footwear and accessories to launching new concepts, Raymond has made some serious attempts to step up its game.

The company essentially caters to men with its multi-band portfolio. And interestingly, it has no plans to expand its flagship menswear brand, Raymond, into the women’s segment. This was stated by Raymond Group Chairman and Managing Director Gautam Singhania in an interaction with BloombergQuint, recently.

“In Raymond brand, women’s wear is clearly a no,” Singhania was quoted as saying.

The company, he told, has done a lot of research and concluded that the idea will not go down well with its male patrons, as they strongly identify with the brand and are rather possessive about it.

Notably, Park Avenue, another menswear brand from the house of Raymond Limited, has eventually gone on to launch ‘Park Avenue Woman’ range also.

“In Park Avenue, we have made an effort and its women’s wear range has done well. Women’s wear is an add-on and not a priority,” he underlined, however.

In recent times, ceremonial and ethnic wear has also been added to the company’s menswear brands’ portfolio, especially under the Raymond brand, to tap into this high-growth category.

Referring to the ethnic fashion brand Manyavar, the Raymond Chief noted that space definitely has room for have more players. “They are doing Rs. 400-500 crores of sales. Why can’t both of us do Rs. 1,000 crores sales? The market is there,” he reportedly told.

Furthermore, he also expressed his keenness on Raymond being a fabric supplier to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali brand that has already disrupted the country’s FMCG space and is looking to enter the garment manufacturing business by launching its own line of apparel come 2019.

“Nothing like a ‘Swadeshi’ tie-up,” Singhania was quoted as saying, who as well underlined that his key focus, for now, is on transforming Raymond into a national asset.

Backed by vertically and horizontally integrated manufacturing capabilities, Raymond is known as one of the finest fabric producers in the world. Besides being a supplier to top design houses across 55 countries, the company is a major player in Shirting fabrics. Moreover, it is also the top producer and preferred supplier of high-quality Ring Denim to leading global Jeanswear brands.

Over the years, Raymond has also morphed into an aggressive player in the readymade apparel segment with its multi-brand portfolio that includes Park Avenue, Raymond Ready To Wear, ColorPlus and Parx. It is also credited to have pioneered the innovative concept of customised clothing, ‘Raymond Made To Measure’.

Today, Raymond and its brands enjoy a robust countrywide presence with over 1,100 exclusive stores and a far-reaching network of over 20,000 points-of-sale in India.