Diamond Fabcare launches 'Wardrobe', plans 1,025 stores in 5 yrs

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New Delhi, Sept 7 (UNI) Diamond Fabcare and Australia's Brown Gouge have partnered to launch 'Wardrobe' brand in the country and plan to set up 1,025 exclusive stores with an investment of about Rs 147 crore over the next five years.

''We plan to set up 1,025 stores with an investment of about Rs 147 crore over the next five years. The first set of 100 stores will be in the National Capital Region by the current fiscal-end,'' Diamond Fabcare Chairman Jyoti Maheshwari told UNI.

The company will invest Rs 14 crore for these 100 stores, he added.

According to a AC Nielson study (deployed by Diamond Fabcare), the drycleaning business is worth Rs 3,000-3,500 currently and is growing at 20-25 per cent.

There are 12,000 regsitered stores with an average load of 100 clothes per day, the study added.

''Only one-third of this Rs 35,000 crore market is approachable as the market will always be dominated by independent players. We aim to have a five per cent market share of that market in the first year of operations,'' Mr Maheshwari said.

Diamond Fabcare also plans to set up 200-300 pick and drop centers and a central supply chain and processing facility to facilitate its growth.

''We are looking at the upper middle class and the youth as they are experimenting with fabrics. They are more brand conscious and want the best care for their clothes and wouldn't mind spending more for it,'' Mr Maheshwari said.

The tie-up with Brown Gouge will help in technical support. Brown Gouge is a 93-year old leader in dry cleaning and laundry industry.

''This collaboration will be a stepping stone for us. We want to understand the Indian market,'' Brown Gouge Co-Promoter Tim Mottin said.

He, however, refused to comment on whether the company would venture out in the Indian market at later stages.

Wardrobe has set up a centralised facility in Noida with an investment of Rs 12 crore. It has a capacity of handling 15,000 garments a day. The equipments have been imported from Europe and the US.

The company has plans to venture out to Tier II cities by 2011-12 as the ''market is not ready''.

''The drycleaning business is still dominated by unorganised players. Its difficult to register presence given the high land costs and machinery. The pricing has been kept above the normal rates but the product offering is competitive,'' Mr Maheshwari said.

The company expects to clock an income of Rs 192 crore by 2013-14.

''We expect our business to have a 70:30 ratio with retail business sharing the major portion and institutional business (hotels, airlines etc) having the rest,'' Mr Maheshwari said.

UNI SR AK BD1428

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