A year after the pandemic fueled demand for work-from-home (WFH) and comfort clothes, Van Heusen, a part of Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail Ltd (ABFRL), is set to expand into the casualwear business with the launch of a new sub-brand.
The pandemic has put the country’s top clothing retailers to the test, with extended lockdowns and work-from-home orders leading to a drop in demand for formal suits, expensive tops, and jackets.
Meanwhile, over the last 12 months, wardrobes have been more relaxed, with athleisure taking precedence.
Under the Denim Labs sub-brand, Van Heusen stores will now offer more T-shirts, denim shirts, jeans, casual coats, and casual shirts for both men and women.
In a store that is normally sized between 1,500 and 1,800 square feet, the retailer can offer the collection a 300 to 350 square foot show. Jacqueline Fernandez, a Bollywood star, will support it.
Apart from Myntra, the range will be available at over 200 of the brand’s stores, multi-brand discount stores, and the retailer’s own website.
The brand has created a separate casual collection in response to new-age industries such as startups and emerging ones that attract a younger workforce.
Denims has previously had a minor presence in the brand’s stores. Van Heusen also offers athleisure and innerwear.
In the next 12 months, Bahugune expects the collection to generate 10% of the brand’s revenue.
Brands are also being pushed to rethink their products by Covid. There is a “category rebalancing” as a result of extended work from home “Consumers’ minds have changed as they move from formal workwear to work-from-home attire, according to Pakhi Saxena, practise head, retail and consumer packaged goods, Wazir Advisors. “Even though the cost of opportunity is high, brands are attempting to react more quickly,” she says “Saxena said.
“Given the latest work from home environments, it is very important for the brand to diversify,” said Abneesh Roy, analyst at Edelweiss Securities.
The parent company ABFRL, which sells western lifestyle brands like Allen Solly, Peter England, and Louis Philippe, has recently confirmed collaborations in other categories.
To grow in the ethnic wear industry, ABFRL signed a definitive agreement in January to buy a 51 percent stake in luxury designer label Sabyasachi. Meanwhile, Flipkart’s minority investment in ABFRL would help the company broaden its product offerings on the marketplace and on Myntra, its apparel platform.