From April 2021 to now – nearly two years in the hot seat driving Brand Arrow of Arvind Fashions Limited, how do you see your own tenure at the company and growth of the brand in that time?
In the last two years, we have grown at a rapid rate, thanks to some strong foundational work that we have been doing. Be it re-configuring the product architecture, creating meaningful innovations, making a decided move towards premiumization and a strong retail identity refresh - all have paid rich dividends. The performance of our last two years has whetted our appetite and we are hungrier than ever to take the brand to the next level.
Give us insights into the sub-brands in your portfolio - Arrow Sport, Arrow New York and Arrow Jeans – and how does each contribute to the company’s revenues?
Arrow Mainline is the largest business and the heart of the brand. This comprises of three sub-lines: first being Arrow Original, which is contemporary formal and work wear. The next is Arrow Modern that focuses on formal wear that is slightly more fashionable in terms of pattern language and even construction. The next proposition is the ceremonial line of Arrow.
Coming to Arrow Sport, this is a clean casual work wear category offering high-quality products across different blends and washes. It is casual in character but retains the premium elegance of Arrow. Arrow New York is our most fashionable offering and it has a fresh take on how the category is evolving. It has knit trousers, bi stretch product, novel blends and finishes to combine fashion and comfort. Arrow New York comprises 20% of our business whereas Arrow Mainline has a majority share of 50% and the rest is Arrow Sport.
What role do tech and innovation play at Arrow? Tell us about some of the latest steps taken by the brand in that direction.
Technology’s role in the business is increasing every day. Right from understanding consumers better through their purchasing habits by deploying analytics, to creating product digitally and a system-based supply chain for our core products are something that are operational. We are also on the cusp of starting a few interesting pilots on making shopping easier and convenient as well as on some demand forecasting models. Apart from this, we also have a strong omni-channel play as well a significant digital presence.
Being a pioneer of the men’s Western wear category, innovation in products is at the heart of Arrow. We have some of our innovative products like auto flex trousers, auto press shirts, etc., which have been an essential part of our consumer’s wardrobe for a very long time. We present to our consumers a significant number of newer products through play of blends, washes and finishes, trims, etc., every season to create delight.
How do you prioritize maintaining premium product quality and retail expansion? Can you explain your strategy there?
I have always maintained that premiumization strategy is at the heart of everything that we do. The premiumization must be visible in our products, in the way our stores look and the shopping experiences we deliver. It is never either/or. Secondly, the real manifestation of the brand is in our retail stores because that’s the brand world. Hence, we are really working hard to create top quality products and ensuring that the consumer has a ‘top of the world’ experience at our stores. Retail expansion is a matter of urgency and we are on an overdrive to expand our footprints.
How do you see consumer behaviour changing in the professional menswear category and what are the trends?
I think the menswear category has been going through a strong change over the years. At the inception of this category, there was a clear divide between formals - the stuff that you wear to work as corporates - and casual, which was for your non-corporate casual outings. Then the wave of casualization happened and the dress codes at work started changing and so did the demand for casuals. Casuals as a category expanded from refined casuals for work on one side to streetwear or jeans as casual on the opposite spectrum. The other big shift that has happened is that men’s wardrobes have gotten stratified into multiple occasions. With explosion of occasions, the dressing need for each of them has arisen, and so the space for brands to come in has gotten bigger.
Going forward, how do you want to chart the brand’s growth and expansion? Have you set any goals?
Like every company, we have our budgets as well as a three-year plan that we are committed to. Without getting into the details, we can share that we see this brand going faster than the market. However, revenue growth is not the only job. We will also have to continuously replenish the brand equity and ensure that we keep the brand contemporary, relevant and aspirational in the times to come.
The brand’s association with Hrithik Roshan is a perfect fit. Hrithik is Bollywood royalty and is celebrated for his impeccable style, elegant looks and cutting-edge films. He embodies Arrow’s ethos perfectly: he exudes effortless glamour and refined charisma, everything that the brand stands for. We are honoured to be continuing our association with him.
We are present across all the prominent e-commerce sites and apps which include Myntra, Flipkart, Amazon, etc. – and arrow.nnnow.com is a proprietary site of Arvind Fashions Limited where we predominantly carry out our e-commerce activities. In addition to this, it is also connected to all our EBO stores as omni-channel set-ups.
Arrow Collar Man
Arrow has been known to create the advertising icon – the ‘Arrow Collar Man’ – introduced to the world by artist J.C. Leyendecker. The Arrow Collar Man was also the inspiration behind the Broadway musical, Helen of Troy New York. In 2012, the 1920s ad of the Arrow Collar Man appeared in the remake of ‘The Great Gatsby’. Brand Arrow came to India in 1993.
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