NEW DELHI — The Children’s Place opened its first store in India last week, a 2,500-square-foot flagship in Bangalore.
The brand is being launched in India by Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd., which has several other international partnerships, including Gap, which opened in India in May, Gant and Tommy Hilfiger.
“Our approach was to find the right partner and to find local knowledge [and] in a market like India,” Adrienne Gernand, senior vice president, International, of The Children’s Place Inc., said regarding the decision to go with a partner versus a subsidiary under the rules allowing 100 percent foreign direct investment in single-brand retail in India.
“The Children’s Place is expected to be a 5 billion rupees [$75.4 million at current exchange] revenue opportunity over the next five years,” said J Suresh, managing director and chief executive officer of Arvind Lifestyle Brands. He added that 10 stores are expected to open within the next year, and in the next five years there will be 40 to 50 stand-alone stores and an equal number of doors in multibrand outlets.
Each store will need about 25 million rupees, or $377,000 at current exchange, in investment.
“There is no other brand in this category which encompasses the 0 to 14 kids range,” Mridumesh Rai, business head of The Children’s Place, said.
The second TCP is expected to open in Mumbai this week, in a shop-in shop format in department store chain Shoppers Stop.
Kidswear is estimated to be a 500 billion rupees, or $7.6 billion, market — of which only 6 percent is in the organized sector, in modern retail. Although the overall market is expected to keep growing between by 15 percent to 18 percent a year, the organized sector is expected to see a big jump, with 20 percent of the kidswear market in the organized sector by 2020.
Rai said that the store that opened in Bangalore had 30 percent more sales than the company expected in the first weekend itself.
Arvind has created a lot of entry price points for the Indian market with tees at 399 rupees, or $6.01, and tops from 499 rupees, or $7.52, to 899 rupees, or $13.55, at current exchange.
Within Arvind’s portfolio there are already eight kidswear brands including Tommy Hillfiger and Gant in the bridge to luxury segment, U.S. Polo Association, Flying Machine and GapKids in the premium segment, and Cherokee kids in the value segment. The Children’s Place is at lower price points and covers a wider age range than many of the other brands.
The Children’s Place started its international expansion three years ago and now has 79 stores in 11 countries across the world including India.