AP Group, based in Mumbai, has acquired the distribution rights for the watch segment of global fashion brand Esprit.
The company is expected to launch the Esprit smartwatches in India by mid-2022.
The group aims to generate more than 85 crore yen as brand revenue in the first year and 140 crore yen in the second year, a senior official said. Talk to Activity area, Adi Shroff, COO, AP Group, said the company has a dual plan to relaunch watches in India.
Focus on subways
âThe focus will be on metropolitan cities with penetration into level 2 and -3 cities. Our distribution will be split online and offline with an emphasis on online distribution, âhe added. Shroff explained that the watches will be available at around 150 large-format stores such as ShopperStop and Lifestyle, 125 Helios stores, and 400 traditional watch dealers. Esprit watches will also be available on e-commerce platforms such as Myntra, Flipkart, Ajio and Tata Cliq. âThe products will be aimed at the masses, with a little advantage of higher quality,â he said.
Currently, the watch distribution segment dominates AP Group’s business, accounting for at least 80 percent of its portfolio. It has brands like Rado, Tissot, Watches of Switzerland, among others.
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Referring to the rapid trend of smartwatches in India, Shroff said that Esprit was also jumping on the bandwagon. âWe are doing our R&D on smart watches. They will be launched in India by mid-2022. The watches will focus on technology, fashion and quality, âhe explained. When asked about the rationale for acquiring the distribution rights for the brand, Shroff said that Esprit watches were a very strong brand in the early 2000s in India, and “this role continued for about a half a decade until the arrival of the Fossil Group and the Guess Group in India. In a way, the Esprit brand has lost its charm.
While a new company took it over and focused on re-branding, it didn’t work out very well, he said. Shroff noted that the AP Group have now decided to relaunch the brand because âeven though it has lost its way, Esprit was a quality brand. Its price was 7,000 to 8,000, despite inflation and rising manufacturing costs. The product has not lost its quality and has not inflated its prices beyond affordability.