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Jaya Shree textile unit of ABN to bring in cheaper linen blends into market

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-04-02 10:15:00 – Bangalore

Jaya Shree Textiles, Aditya Birla Nuvo's textile division, is India’s top linen brand manufacturing company with majority share in linen apparels. Linen is a woven fabric made from the fibers of flax plants, and it is one of the oldest and most expensive textiles in the world. It is prized for its lightweight, cool feel even in hot weather, and people also tend to like its crisp, professional look. Looking at its growing demand, the company is planning to bring into market not only cheaper linen blends but also linen products for women.

Jaya Shree plans to increase the distribution of its linen business and is looking ahead to generate 60-65% of its sales from linen within three-four years that is Rs.2,000 crore in annual sales, compared with estimated sales of Rs.1,300 crore in the year to 31 March.

They will continue to maintain their wool business, but will be focusing more on linen for it growth as wool isn’t growing and even the current players are struggling. While linen is an emerging segment and growing well, managing director S. Krishnamoorthy said. They will be getting into women’s wear this year. They have started selling blends like linen-wool, linen-cotton to make it more affordable. But most of their customers are at the top end and they will keep it like that.

The company has significantly revolutionised the Indian textile market by popularising ‘linen’ in India across a wide customer base with its retail chain brand Linen Club, is one of the few suppliers of both linen fabric and ready-made linen in India. Linen is 40-50% more expensive than other widely used fabrics such as cotton, and accounts for less than 3% of India’s textile market .

It has 100 Linen Club stores, all franchised, and its products are sold across 3,000 external outlets. The company also sells to international brands such as Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger. Over the next three years, the company expects to add 25-30 Linen Club stores and about 150 other outlets every year to its distribution reach.

They will continue with their focus on the domestic market as there is copious demand in India and it is more profitable than international.

A lot of other companies do want to get into linen, but it’s not easy because the entry barriers are high. The fibres are all-imported and it is arduous to pick out the right ones. The spinning process is completely different from other fabrics, the technology is different, and there’s a lack of skilled manpower who know how to do the linen business. Modern technology has made production easier and more streamlined, but in general this type of fabric is still quite costly.

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