ABFRL partners Tarun Tahiliani; to launch men's contemporary ethnic wear brand
NEW DELHI: Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) on Wednesday said it will set up a new entity in partnership with designer Tarun Tahiliani that will retail contemporary ethnic wear for men. As part of the partnership, ABFRL will acquire a 33.5% stake in Goodview Properties Private Ltd giving it access Tahiliani's luxury couture business for an estimated Rs67 crore.The association will also help ABFRL strengthen its position in ethnic wear segment, the company informed the exchanges on Wednesday.Also Read Bitter home truths for migrant workersThe retailer is eyeing Rs500 crore in business from contemporary men's ethnic wear over the next five years; it plans to operate through 250 stores in India. ABFRL will hold 80% stake in the new entity while Tahiliani will hold the remaining 20%. The two will develop and launch a new brand of apparel and accessories.“Acquisition of 80% stake in a new entity being incorporated as part of the transaction, by way of entering into 'Share Subscription and Shareholders Agreement'. Within this entity, ABFRL and Tarun Tahiliani will collaborate to develop and launch a new brand of apparel and accessories, in the affordable premium ethnic wear segment," the company said.The brand will launch the first set of retail stores by September this year.As for its investment in the couture business of Tahiliani, ABFRL will have the option to increase its stake to 51% over the next few years.ABFRL has been increasing its exposure to premium Indian designer labels over the last two years with a clutch of investments.These investments largely give the retailer—that sells men’s formal wear apart from fast-fashion brands and owns Pantaloons in India—access to the occasion wear market, with a sharp focus on ethnic clothing.The association with Tahiliani follows the news of ABFRL’s investment in Indian luxury designer label Sabyasachi. Last month, the company signed a definitive agreement to acquire a 51% stake in Sabyasachi, a brand owned by designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, for an estimated Rs398 crore.In June 2019, ABFRL, which retails brands such as Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Forever21, and Peter England, acquired ethnic apparel and lifestyle retailer Jaypore for Rs110 crore. The deal was intended to help ABFRL tap the fast-growing ethnic apparel market. In July 2019, the company had announced a partnership with fashion designers Shantanu & Nikhil.“The partnership with Tahiliani is in line with our stated strategy to craft a portfolio of brands that address the entire gamut of ethnic wear segments: value, premium and luxury," Ashish Dikshit, Managing Director, ABFRL said in a statement.Ethnic wear will emerge as a strong category over the next few years, said Dikshit. “We believe that over the next few years, ethnic wear is going to be an important category as confident Indians rediscover their culture and heritage. Tarun Tahiliani has been at the forefront of the emergence of the Indian design industry. We are proud to partner with him to launch a new brand that gives the emerging Indian consumer a new range of celebration wear reflecting the unmatched, exquisite design excellence at more accessible prices," he said.India designer labels have for years focused on the more affluent shoppers.Tahiliani, founder and CEO, Tarun Tahiliani Brand said the partnership opens up the premium and pricey brand to a “larger Indian market that knows and values quality and is actively seeking it".Last October, Walmart-backed Flipkart Group paid Rs1,500 crore for a 7.8% stake in the retailer. As part of the transaction, Flipkart will leverage its investment in the fashion retailer to strengthen the range of brands offered on its e-commerce platforms Flipkart and Myntr.As of 31 December 2020, ABFRL had a network off 3,157 stores and reaches 6,835 point of sales in department stores across India.