Sep 6, 2008

Business - Australian dry cleaning major to launch retail chain;India

Australian dry-cleaning and laundry major Brown Gouge has entered into a technical collaboration with Delhi-based Diamond Fabcare to launch retail chain ‘Wardrobe’. With an investment of Rs 150 crore in the first phase, Wardrobe will spread its footprint in the North initially and look for a pan-India presence in a three-year horizon.“We have been scouting for a partner for the last seven years to enter India. With lifestyle changes sweeping India, it is a good market for us to explore. Currently, there are no organised chain in the sphere and with this partnership we are looking to improving the standards in the dry cleaning and laundry segment,” Mr Tim Mottin, Co Promoter, Brown Gouge told Business Line.Under the collaboration, the 93-year-old company will provide the technical knowhow of running the business, besides developing a supply chain system and conducting training programmes.‘Wardrobe’ will deploy equipment imported from Europe and the US, besides using fabric-friendly chemicals. The garment and upholsteries will be picked from its retail outlets and cleaned at a central processing unit.Growing sector According to marketing information company AC Nielsen, the dry cleaning and laundry industry in India is estimated at Rs 3,000-3,500 crore. Demand drivers such as the rising number of working women and awareness on dressing right and growth in hospitality and retail sector is giving a fillip to the sector.Mr B.L. Bajaj, Director of Wardrobe said, “According to our estimates, the daily demand for laundry will increase at 20-25 per cent annually.”He said the company will open 30 company-owned outlets in next two-three months (phase I). “We will be investing heavily into the supply chain management as it is critical to our operation. Wardrobe stores will be opened in residential areas to start with,” he said. The company is targeting both institutions and individuals for its growth

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