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California lifestyle apparel brand Dockers makes big bet on Indian market, plans five store openings in first year

Dockers, the California-based lifestyle apparel brand, is betting big on India’s physical retail growth and has planned to open five stores in the first year of its entry into India, in addition to entering 14 cities through Shoppers Stop.

Natalie MacLennan, the Chief Executive Officer of Dockers, disclosed that over 50% of the company’s sales originate from countries beyond the borders of the United States. Additionally, she emphasized the brand’s ambition to expand its presence in the Asian market.

“We are big in Europe, but Asia is an area that we are really looking to grow in. And I would say India, for us, is one of the most exciting countries within that region just given the scale, given the growth, given the dynamics going on in the country,” said Natalie MacLennan.

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Dockers has forged a partnership with the retail technology firm Ace Turtle to make its entry into the Indian market.

Ace Turtle, licensed to retail fashion and lifestyle brands like Lee, Wrangler, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Babies ‘R’ Us in India, will bolster Dockers’ presence both in physical stores and online platforms.

“We are opening our first store, and after going live in Delhi, we are also coming up with four more stores. There is an exclusive partnership which we have done for offline on our department store side with Shoppers’ Stop. They go live this week as well, and then with Myntra, which for online third-party marketplace, which also goes live this week,” said Nitin Chhabra, CEO, ace turtle.

Dockers, a division under Levi Strauss & Co., enjoys a global presence spanning across 50 countries.

MacLennan stated that India holds the potential to emerge as one of Dockers’ largest markets outside the US, with the India team prepared with an ambitious expansion strategy.

For Dockers, omni-channel is important and post Covid, the consumer is looking for an experience at the store.

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The majority of the products will be manufactured in India, with additional quantities sourced from Dockers’ global supply chain.

“But with each passing season the local component is going to increase. Close to 65% of the inventory will be locally produced while 35% will be imported and as we keep going deeper each season, the India components are going to increase,” said Chhabra.

Ace Turtle is targeting Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore as the initial locations to establish stores before expanding to other cities.

Ace Turtle, having recently secured $34 million (around INR 293 crore), intends to allocate a portion of the capital towards the expansion of Dockers.

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