ITC Logo
Media Centre
Press Report

The art of customisation
The Financial Express - 29 Mar 2011

Wills Lifestyle, a chain of exclusive specialty stores under ITCs Lifestyle Retailing division is leaving no stone unturned to strengthen its association with fashion. Moving beyond its association with the fashion week, the brand has just announced the results of 'The Debut', a contest started four years ago in 2007 to recognise young talent in fashion across the country.

This year, more than 300 entries from all over India, including students from premier fashion institutes like all National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), National Institute of Design (NID), Pearl Academy of Fashion and Northern Indian Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT) Mohali. On the occasion of ITC completing 100 years in the business, the students were provided a theme 'India First' to draw inspiration for the creations. The criteria for selection required the garments to signify continuous existence, societal, development of product and technology innovations in India. The finale was judged by an eminent panel comprising designer members of FDCI – Rohit Gandhi and Namrata Joshipura, fashion educator Asha Baxi,and Rinku Kaicker, Head of Design, ITC’s Lifestyle Retailing Business. Besides getting other rewards, the winner, Tanya Narula of Pearl Academy of Fashion will be felicitated at the forthcoming edition of WIFW AW’11 being held in New Delhi from April 6-10, 2011.

Besides being present across departmental stores, there are 74 exclusive Wills Lifestyle stores across India. Out of these, only 20 stores are located in tier 2 cities. In fact, the brand will not shy away from resorting to adaptive pricing to tap the potential of these markets. “Left with no option, earlier people from Punjab came to shop in Delhi, the closest metro. There is a lot of demand in tier 2 markets which is a result of the expansion of organised retail. Also, we can leverage franchisees in these markets,” says Atul Chand, divisional chief executive, ITC’s Lifestyle Retailing business division.

The brand plans to bank on a customised approach to reach its TG. While commonalities on certain grounds at stores is followed, the brand would like to make each store suitable to the tastes of the people living in that particular area. For instance, the brand's showroom in Delhi's Greater Kailash's M Block market has larger collection of women's wear as the place is frequented more by the fair sex. In some stores womens wear counts for 30-35% of the overall collection. Similarly customers in some markets love to shop formals than casuals.

Wills Lifestyle has so far focussed on below the line initiatives. Also, there are plans to use print heavily this year as it gives a flexibility to showcase what's available in a particular market. For The Design social media was leveraged to increase awareness and tap into a larger talent base. An All India Design Contest was launched on the Wills Lifestyle Facebook Page which was open to the students of fashion design stream of any design college of India. Around 200 students uploaded their designs, of which 5 winners were chosen on the basis of highest votes received by Wills

Four years back, only 2 collections each for men and women were launched. Currently, Wills Lifestyle comes up with 6 collections for men and 8 for women every year. While the brand has grown by 25% in 2010-11, it expects to up the growth momentum by 35 % next year.

Click here to know more about Lifestyle Retailing Business