Vasanth Kumar, MD, Lifestyle, Retail News, ET Retail


We are optimistic slowdown will not impact us directly: Vasanth Kumar, MD, Lifestyle New Delhi: Department store chain, Lifestyle, is positive about the sales during the upcoming festive season and feels that the current economic slowdown is not going to affect the retailer directly, said the top executive of the company.

“We are optimistic that we will be doing very well in the festive season and slowdown will not be affecting us directly,” said Vasanth Kumar, managing director of Lifestyle.

Although the sales have been flat for Lifestyle in the last few months, Kumar explains it is mostly because of the excess availability.

“In Noida alone, there are 20 places to go and shop. Earlier there used to be only one mall. So when excess mall happens, stores will be having problems because customers do not want to go 5 km to go to a mall. That is why the shrink is happening because of the excess amount of malls in vicinity,” said Kumar. According to the executive, the numbers of mall space has been doubled in 4 years but the concept has not been doubled.

The company which has clocked a revenue of around Rs 4,000 crore in the last fiscal generally spends about 2-3 percent of it on the overall marketing throughout the year.

The fashion and beauty store player is also betting big on the private brands during the festive sale and has started to launch Diwali edition merchandise collections.

“Our journey of private labels started a long time back and over the past 4 years, we have seen strong 30 percent of our total business coming from them. Just that we are multi-brand fashion store we can’t overdo it and we have to balance which is what we are doing right now at 30 percent. Our goal is to make private brands reach 35 percent of our total business in the next 3 years,” said Kumar. Lifestyle at present has 10 private label brands.

Lifestyle which is essentially open its outlets in the malls in metros and top cities has plans to open 8-9 stores every year for the next 3 years. The retailers operate 78 stores at present and is keeping an eye on the upcoming malls to carry out the expansion. The brand will not open stores in high-street locations.

“Our format is mall driven in tier 1 and metro cities. We are focusing on the aspirational upper-middle-class so it makes sense to partner with the malls and grow. We have no plans to open a store at highstreet. Our only focus is malls. If we will get a good mall we will open a store. Our typical store size is 40,000 sq ft,” explains Kumar.

The executive is hopeful of continuing the growth rate of 8-10 percent for the next 3-4 years to come.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here