‘Sportswear is blurring lines between gyms and airports’

NEW DELHI : With an eye fixed on a buoyant pageant season, Puma is anticipated to far exceed its 2021 income of 2,000 crore this 12 months. In an interview, Abhishek Ganguly, managing director, Puma India and Southeast Asia, stated the sportswear model is focussing on the omnichannel shopper and is reaching out to its buyer by widespread icons from the sporting, music and movies fraternities. Edited excerpts:

 

How essential are the festive season gross sales, contemplating that Puma is a sportswear model? 

The truth is that in India customers spend some huge cash throughout this time. There’s festive surroundings and a objective of spending more cash. It is an important season for us, and traditionally so. Just to place it in context, the second half of the 12 months is 60-62% of our enterprise throughout channels and classes, in comparison with the primary half at 40-48%. A variety of it is festive season gross sales, whereas a few of it is additionally as a result of northern and jap India has winters and the typical promoting value of attire goes up. But a majority of the spike in gross sales within the second half of the 12 months is due to the festive season as individuals find yourself spending more cash.

So do you anticipate to surpass pre-covid gross sales?

For certain. Last 12 months was larger than 2019. And final 12 months, we had been nonetheless having the impact of the second wave of covid and there was an enormous drag within the enterprise. In the buyer’s thoughts what had occurred was nonetheless very recent. The wounds had undoubtedly not healed. This 12 months, shopper sentiment and the temper of commerce, actual property, malls, e-commerce platforms is super-positive, and expectation is super-high. The preliminary traits I see on the weekends from all channels, we’re most likely taking a look at phenomenal development within the subsequent three months.

The firm did over 2,000 crore in income in 2021. What form of leap are you anticipating?

I will be unable to share the precise quantity; I can solely let you know that we’re rising phenomenally over final 12 months’s quantity. I’m anticipating unprecedented demand in our class and in our model.

Online enterprise contributes 43% of Puma’s total gross sales. Do you see it truly fizzling out contemplating that persons are out-and-about?

Percentage-wise I’ll solely know that on the finish of the 12 months as this season will decide that. But I can let you know this time the buoyancy is very excessive for offline. Retailers are again. They say it’s our 12 months to get again enterprise and not only for the sportswear class however for all the vogue business. Brands like us are increasing and opening extra shops. Online gross sales have nonetheless grown. Certain platforms are rising greater than 50% versus final 12 months in our class. You have lot of information to work on in on-line and manufacturers which work very carefully with these platforms are in a position to construct a whole lot of efficiencies by way of assortments or pricing which will get natural development. We are constructing our personal buying app in India. 

Are you over-reliant on e-commerce?

We perceive our enterprise and the place customers are. Today we have now greater than 410 mono model shops in India. We have a whole lot of dedication to our multi-brand shops, resembling Shopper Stop and Lifestyle, and regional retailers like Kapsons. We have by no means been naysayers of e-commerce, and we began it when e-commerce began in India. It’s not due to covid that we needed to pivot our enterprise. We wouldn’t have develop into market leaders had we most popular one channel over one other and that’s going to proceed to be our technique as a result of customers now need to store omni-channel.

In phrases of merchandise and pricing, is there a battle between on-line and offline channels?

Over a interval, we have now found what customers store for and on which channel, at what value level, and what classes. If you simply put every part in every single place, then there is undoubtedly a  battle. So, we have now a product distribution technique which is depending on the channel. If you might be in Delhi and, when you go, let’s say, to our Select City Walk retailer and you decide up a product and you search on-line, 95-98% of the time you’ll both not discover that product on-line or you’ll find it on the similar value as a result of we can be itemizing it ourselves as a vendor the place we are able to management the value.

Your model ambassadors comprise Virat Kohli, Kareena Kapoor and even singer Harrdy Sandhu. Who is your goal shopper?

Well, we imagine sportswear transcends the boundaries of the pitch and the court docket. It has a robust affect on tradition, music, artwork, motion pictures and leisure. If you’re looking at people who find themselves dressing up on the airport for an airport look or whether or not they’re going clubbing, you will notice they’re carrying sportswear. We name it the gym-to-the-runway (airports) technique. So, between the gymnasium and the runway, the lines are blurring. Whether it is Bollywood, OTT platform entertainers, or fashions, they’re sporting athleisure.  Hence, we’ll at all times be rooted in sport and will at all times be related to athletes like Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Sunil Chhetri, Mary Kom, and Duti Chand, in addition to Bangalore Football Club and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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