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'Segment underserved': Royal Enfield's expansion ambitions pass through apparel business

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The Times Of India
15th January, 2020 06:58 IST

NEW DELHI: The gloomy days of the automobile industry in 2019 conceals the untapped cache of the apparel business that remains unscratched by the slowdown. According to the latest SIAM data, 18.5 million new two-wheelers entered homes in the period.

Considering the shelf life of helmet, gloves or any other apparel 2-3 years, the new, along with replacement market throws a vast catchment to serve. Not just 2019, but in general the numbers are significantly large.

Royal Enfield, a leading two-wheeler motorcycle manufacturer, on the quest of the market pie in the apparel business, entered the fray in 2014. Finding feat, it has come a long way, backed by its RE motorcycle fraternity. Still a fair gap to bridge from the market leaders, RE apparel business has carved a niche for itself with 100 styles available in helmets, 80 in T-shirts, 20 in gloves and five in riding jackets.

"A lot of brands are offering products at a lower price point but don't really provide credibility. Then, there are products on the top-of-the-line which are credible but are inaccessible for most consumers. Like motorcycles, we want to stay in that sweet point. We are very value-for-money but we cater according to riders' needs. Though we have a global footprint, our focus is in India, where the demand is large and the markets are underserved," said Puneet Sood, head, apparel business, Royal Enfield .

Some ISI-certified, others DOT-certified, the range of helmets start at Rs 1,750 and goes till Rs 8,500. Similarly, for gloves and jackets, the entry-level products start at Rs 1,700 and Rs 4,500.

The apparel industry, which is largely unorganised in India, is dominated by players likes of Studds, Steelbird and Vega. Without revealing the sales figures, Puneet added, " Royal Enfield apparel are still in our early days. However, our strength lies in quality and versatility. We surpassed our expectations in 2018 and constantly strive to improvise based on customer response and feedback. Moving ahead, our outlook for 2020 is positive with the market expanding like never before. Moreover, we provide a helmet free of cost with every Royal Enfield motorcycle sold."

Royal Enfield retails its apparels through its RE outlet, RE apparel website, e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Myntra, and departmental stores like Shop&Shop and Central. Our apparels are not just fit for Royal Enfield motorcyclists but anyone and everyone, who is a machine enthusiast and believes in motorcycling way of life, Puneet concludes.

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