Vijay Mallya, the king of good times, who is the owner of the Bangalore based UB group, is gearing up to join the retail bandwagon with an investment of up to 250 crore by opening about 25 lounge bar format retail stores in the year 2007.
These multi-branded merchandise stores will be named after the the group’s highly popular “Kingfisher” brand to leverage the Kingfisher brandname into retail space. Kingfisher is being presently used as the umbrella brand for selling the products like Beer, Soda, Water, and air line seats.
This is going to be the second attempt of the group at retail as it is already selling ‘Kingfisher Line’ of products in Bangalore. These products have been designed by fashion designer Manoviraj Khosla. The first of the retail stores under new format is also likely to be launched from Bangalore.
Targeted at the youth, the Kingfisher stores would sell fashion products and apparels including leisure wear, lounge wear and sports wear along with full-fledged lounge bar. The stores would retail international brands including Nike, Adidas, and Reebok, apart from selling soft liquor brands from its own portfolio and that of other companies. Retail consultant KSA Technopak is known to have prepared the new retail plan based on a market research study conducted by the firm a few months ago.
“Retailing is the easiest business to do, till the time you want to make money. Once you want any retail venture to make money, things change,” says analyst Susil Dungarwal. Cautioning against the glamour of the front end in retailing, he added: “Retailing is all about putting your back-end in place first, then look at the front end.”