Midsize Bike Maker Royal Enfield Plans to Grow its Apparel Business
Royal Enfield, the market leader in the mid-size motorcycle segment, plans to expand its apparel business. As per the sources, the company aims to offer more products and is open to further tie-ups with Indian and international players. Set up in the year 2014, Royal Enfield’s apparel business has grown with flying colours in the last couple of years, with a vast line-up of motorcycle safety gear, casual wear and accessories now available. Most recently, Royal Enfield launches ‘Make-It-Yours’ a unique motorcycle personalisation programme to the apparel business. With MiY initiative, consumers can choose to personalize and accessorize their motorcycles, right at the time of purchase, and truly make their own.
Puneet Sood, head -apparel business, commented that even though the momentum has been significant off late, the company intends to keep the growth going. Some of the more relevant talking points in the recent past have been Royal Enfield’s various tie-ups with brands like Levi’s and Knox, and particularly, the addition of a dedicated women’s gear line.
As with their newer bikes, the priority lies in providing high quality and classy products, but at a reasonable price range. The focus on safety is apparent in the CE ratings that a large percentage of their gloves offer, as well as the new range of co-developed gear with British safety experts, Knox.
Setting alliances with dedicated gear producers is one thing RE is open to. Before the Knox agreement, RE offered a riding jacket-pant set co-developed with Dutch riding gear manufacturer, Rev’it. The company also uses D3O (another British brand) armour in some of its jackets, and their current helmet line up is manufactured by Indian companies like Steelbird, Vega and Studds.
Puneet Sood further told that while the manufacturing is outsourced, the designs are all in-house. The RE apparel business team currently comprises about 70 employees, a significant number of those being product designers. Without giving any numbers, he said, that the company is open to more partnerships with gear and apparel manufacturers, Indian and international. Areas, where further expansion can be expected, is in the ladies’ range, and the Make It Yours customisation programme. Given the increasing popularity of the adventure segment, there will soon be more adventure-specific gear designed with Indian conditions in mind.
Motorcycle related products, be it jackets or helmets, helps in creating brand loyalty, which ultimately aid the core business. Royal Enfield already has a large range of tastefully designed casual wear branded apparel. As per rough figures about half of the apparel, buyers are not RE motorcycle owners, and the company recognizes the immense brand-building value this holds.
Besides it, growth will happen in the availability of the products. The company is tying up with large retail chains to take the availability of its merchandise beyond its website and dedicated brand stores. Royal Enfield is striving towards increasing its brand visibility even further, both on the road and off it.