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ITC spends Rs 7 cr on Wills chain design unit
The Telegraph - 13 Jul 2001

From Raja Ghoshal

New Delhi, July 12 : The lifestyle retailing business division of ITC Limited, which runs the Wills Lifestyle chain, has invested about Rs 7 crore to set up a centralised design unit in Gurgaon.

Sanjiv Keshava, chief executive of the division, said the unit, which will provide a centralised design prototype for all its stores across the country, will be up and running by October.

When the lifestyle division was launched two years ago, it had a two-year design consultancy contract with ADIG of San Francisco. According to sources, the company is now going to rely on its own designers and the centralised design prototype unit and will not renew ADIG’s contract. However, Keshava said the renewal of the contract could not be ruled out.

ITC outsources the garments for all its lifestyle stores. "The design unit is meant to achieve standardisation and consistency for all our products across the country", said Keshava. "It will halve the time taken by vendors from design to output, which is critical in the fashion business."

Today, ITC opened its 11th Wills Lifestyle store in the country, the second in the city. It will open 21 stores by the end of this month and 50 by the end of March next year. The strategy is to have 100 stores by 2003, which will require an investment of Rs250 crore.