David Lecomte, VP Marketing & Digital, Celio, on the brand’s plans to make India its second-biggest market globally.
What are Celio’s expansion plans for India?
We’ve been here for around 10 years now, so it’s a good time for us to increase our development and move faster. We are in 41 countries all over the world and are trying to develop ourselves as a global brand. In France, Celio is one of the top ready-to-wear brands. We are known for our jeans, polos and chinos. At the moment, India is in our top 5 markets along with Spain, Italy and Israel. We want to make it the second-biggest.
What makes this a good time for Celio to invest further in India?
We’re seeing huge opportunities to develop the Indian market. The fact that we’ve decided to invest more in opening stores here is because after 10 years, we have the required experience. We now understand this market, know very well what the customer needs and we want to develop based on these assets. The market now is moving faster; 10 years back, the opportunities were not the same. Also, we want to work more closely between France and India and develop our communication in several mediums, including bloggers, as we want to stand as a major player in ready-to-wear in India.
Is the positioning of the brand different in India and France?
No, it occupies the same market segment – premium – and this is the positioning we want to maintain. We’re proud to be French and will communicate that a bit more now. We like to be known as universal – catering to everybody, contemporary – not necessarily high fashion, but something that can be worn by everyone, and enthusiastic – we want those who wear our clothes to always be happy. This value is very important to us. We also want to be able to provide easy fashion for all occasions – work, parties, weekends and so on.
Which are the top selling products for the brand?
We are famous for our jeans, polos and shirts. In France, we are the leader in jeans. We sell way more pairs than even Levi’s. These are the categories we want to sell the most in India too.
What does Celio have to offer to the Indian market that other brands don’t?
I think it’s about the quality of the clothes. Quality doesn’t mean ‘expensive’ for us. We also include an emotional value in our collections. We want a customer to see our campaign or movie and think they’d want to be a part of that group of friends featured in it.
What about collaborations with actors, sportspersons etc, which all other brands seem to be exploring?
We’re definitely thinking about it, and not just for the Indian market. We’ve done a few collections such as Star Wars and The Jungle Book previously. Currently, there is an India-exclusive Simpsons collection that we are planning to take to Europe.
Will expansion of the product range offered here also be part of the plan?
Yes, we’ve had tightly edited collections in India so far, because most of our points of sale here are not big enough to express the entire collection. We want India to understand what we are famous for – jeans, polos and shirts – so in that space, we can only present so much. Now we are thinking of opening bigger shops and bringing down most of the collection, including active wear, which has got great response for us.