Italy's Fila earmarks Rs 125 crore to set up 70 stores by 2014

Fila had officially launched its sports lifestyle apparel range in the country this month with a view to tap the Rs 2,000 crore sportswear market.

"We plan to open 60-70 exclusive outlets over the next two to three years at an investment of Rs 125 crore. Each store would be about 1,000-2,000 sq ft depending upon the location. Currently, our focus is on the metros only," Fila CEO Rajiv Bajaj told PTI here.

Presently, the company has 100 shop-in-shops that sell only the Fila footwear range.
"India is a very strategic market when it comes to lifestyle and sportswear. We have got a great response from our footwear range so far. This leads us to believe that India as a country is getting younger and active. The need of the hour is a range of apparels that inspires activity," Bajaj said.

With Fila entering the apparel segment, it could eat into the shares of leading players such as Reebok, Adidas, Nike, Puma and Umbro.

Asked about its marketing strategy, Bajaj said the company will soon rope in an Indian actor or sportsperson to endorse its products, adding that 8-10 per cent of its revenue would be invested on brand promotion.

Globally, the company has been associated with sports such as tennis and is being endorsed by sportstars like Bjorn Borg and Kim Clijsters.

"Fila is a heritage sportswear brand internationally and is present in India since 2002, but only in footwear. Now, with apparels and accessories, we expect a double-digit growth from the Indian market next year," Bajaj said.

Fila's range of apparel will cost between Rs 499 to Rs 3,000 and will consist of track suits, lowers, shorts, gym wear, active wear, T-shirts, sweat shirts and other accessories, such as belts, caps and eye-gear, for youngsters in the age group of 18-30 years.

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