Retail in Asia

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Indian apparel retailers post improved like-to-like store sales growth

If there is one reason as to why apparel retail companies in India have seen healthier bottomline this year, it is because of their "like-to-like" (LTL) sales growth from their stores. In other words, led by right product mix and location, sales from each of their stores have shown considerable growth in fiscal 2011-12 as compared to last year, with the likes of Arvind and Raymond leading the pack.

Registering the highest like-to-like sales growth was Arvind at 18 percent for its exclusive stores, followed by Raymond, K-Lounge (of Kewal Kiran Clothing Ltd) and Shoppers Stop who saw same store growth of 15 percent, 15 percent, and 7 percent, respectively in the fiscal 2011-12. The exclusive stores of Arvind included brands like Arrow, Gant, USPA & Flying Machine.

According to industry experts, apart from favourable consumer demand and right mix of products, it was also store location selection that played well for the apparel retail players. "Apparel retail companies like Arvind and Raymond did well last in terms of LTL sales growth because they never went berserk in their growth. They never opened stores in every nook and corner of the country. They deal in products which are of a particular segment of consumer who has much better spending power," said Piyush Sinha, retail and supply chain expert at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.