By Charumini de Silva
Local fashion retailer Kelly Felder has plans to further broaden its appeal by taking the brand beyond Sri Lanka’s shores.
As the first step of taking the brand to the next level, Kelly Felder has signed up with India’s Reliance Group to sell products under its online retail arm.
“We have been selected as one of the international brands that Reliance is going to showcase under its umbrella. This would be a great opportunity for us as it is planning to launch the biggest online platform in India within the next couple of months,” Kelly Felder CEO Ravi Wickramanayake said at the opening of the third store at Galle Road, Colombo 3.
Kelly Felder has always been up to the latest trends in vogue, matching the standards of every fashion-conscious woman in town. The weekly collections introduced by the retailer have turned the place into a hub for retail therapy with lasting appeal. Hence, the firm is now looking for opportunities to expand its brand presence locally and internationally.
Noting that people were changing their perception towards brands, he said the objective was to create Kelly Felder as an exclusive ladies wear brand. “We want to be like Victoria’s Secret in casual wear. People pay that extra money for the brand and for the exclusivity.”
Outlining the plans of branching out overseas, Wickramanayake said they intended to start with India and decide on further expansion after observing the market behaviour.
“We feel that India is a good opportunity to start because of the relationship, close proximity and the weather patterns. They love our designs and pick almost every design. We are quite confident of conquering the international market and we can look for some investors to venture into offline stores in India as well,” he added.
Owing to the size of the Indian market, Reliance has promised Kelly Felder that it will sell large quantities of products while helping Kelly Felder to expand the brand presence in India.
In addition to branch expansion plans, the retailer also intends to introduce new products such as perfumes, shades, swimwear, gym wear and ultimately have a lingerie line in the near future.
Commenting on the demand, he said it was challenging to keep up with the requirement, especially during festive seasons. The retailer has built the brand around the exclusivity of its clothing line, but pointed that Sri Lanka was yet to emerge as a fashion destination.
Highlighting on the company’s performance, Wickramanayake said the company had maintained 100% growth during last year and intended to maintain the same or more, but added it was still early to predict.
Pointing out that competition was a positive factor, he asserted that it helped them to focus more on the customer and the market, which results in continuous improvement of Kelly Felder product lines.
He also noted that via its engagements on social media such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, customer feedback was happening in real time.
Pix by Bhanuka Kirinde