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Friday, Apr 12, 2002

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Proline plans exclusive stores for global brands

Purvita Chatterjee

MUMBAI, April 11

PROLINE India is planning to expand its retail network to five exclusive stores catering to its international brands - Fila, K-Swiss and Ferrari.

Operating as distributors for these brands in the Indian market, the Rs 24-crore company is appointing franchisees to launch these exclusive stores. The first of these stores is expected to come up at Banjara hills in Hyderabad followed by stores in Delhi and Mumbai.

Mr Kabir Lumba, CEO, Proline India, told Business Line: "In the past, we have had stores stocking both Proline and our international brands. Now we intend having exclusive stores for our imported brands for shoes, apparels and accessories."

Without the Proline brand name, the stores would be branded as K-Swiss and Fila, in addition to the existing Proline stores. Mr Lumba says that he expects a turnover of Rs 6 crore from the international brands. "This should take our turnover to Rs 30 crore this year," he adds.

Apart from the Italian brand of Fila, the company has recently introduced yet another Italian brand, Ferrari, catering to the premium market of Formula 1 racing enthusiasts. Says Mr Ravi Walia, Chief Executive, Proline Sports System, "This will be a very niche brand for us and we will be restricting its distribution to a few metros. The products will be available at eight of our stores across the country."

Its most premium brand till date, the Ferrari, will retail at Rs 7,000 onwards for shoes, Rs 3,000 for apparel and Rs 2,000 for accessories.

Besides, the company intends importing and marketing another strength training equipment by the brand name of `Hoist' from the US. The company, which has now become a `gateway' for imported sports brands, already boasts of names such as Prince and Slazenger to fitness equipment brands such as Body Solid, Vision Fitness, Landice and Johnson.

Changing its baseline from `Follow yourself' to `Welcome to the Been There Done That Community', Proline has allocated an ad budget of Rs 1.75 crore for the brand this year. Its ad account is handled by Leo Burnett. This year the company intends opening more stores in the North and has introduced new products under the Proline brand in linen and denim for the first time this season.

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