Jaya Shree Textiles, an Aditya Birla Group company, aims to expand its Linen Club stores to its retail chain by adding around 156 stores taking the total count to 300 by 2020. For each Linen Club stores it would be investing about Rs60 lakh to Rs70 lakh with an area ranging from 1,200 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft. At present, Jaya Shree has 144 Linen Club stores operational in the country.
Thomas Varghese, business head â€“ textiles, Aditya Birla Group, said that it would be a mix of company-owned stores and franchisees. 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.
Amid rising demand for the linen fabric with a shift in trend from formals to casual and comfort wear, the 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 on Saturday launched its exclusive identity store at Linking Road, Bandra, in Mumbai spanning 1,370 sq ft. This store is their first flagship outlet in Mumbai and their fifth store in Greater Mumbai. This store would be their 144th store pan India, Varghese added.
Rajiv Dube, director, Aditya Birla Management Corporation, said that Mumbai is the fashion capital of India and they are absolutely positive that the style connoisseurs of the city will welcome the finest European linen fabrics. All their fabrics are made from raw material sourced from France and Belgium and processed at their manufacturing facilities.
Rajesh Vig, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, said that 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.
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.
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