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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka's Odel exploring joint expansion overseas

Sri Lanka's Odel exploring joint expansion overseas

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Malika1990

Malika1990
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
August 03, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's fashion retailer Odel Plc is looking at joint expansion possibilities overseas with its new East Asian partner, Parksons Retail Asia, Otara Gunewardene, Odel's founder and chief executive said.

Parkson Retail Asia, a department store with operations in Malaysia,Vietnam and Indonesia recently bought a 41.8 percent stake in Odel for 1.424 billion rupees.
"We have been looking at different options for our next stage of growth," Gunewardene said.

"Managing director of Parksons had indicated that there are interests to look at other countries from Sri Lanka like Bangladesh, Pakistan and India,"

"Obviously they have lot of stores already in countries in the region. We have to see what opportunities are there for us to jointly do expansion," she said.

Odel has franchise of its chic women's fashion accessory brand 'Backstage' in Singapore and Male and is looking to push its Odel range of products overseas.

With Parksons's entry into the company Odel will stand a better chance of taking its brands overseas.

"I have always been keen to take the brand out-side Sri Lanka and now it will be a better opportunity to do that," Gunewardene said.

"It will be something that will be looked at to be done as soon as we can," she said

She says the company's success in building its own unique brands such as 'Odel', 'embark', 'Backstage' and 'LuvSL' has made them stand out from other fashion retail chains.

"We are very strong in our own brands and it has been a good portion of our business," Gunewardena said.

The company says they will continue developing their own brands to keep in line with global department store trends.

"Global department stores are trying to develop their own private labels and be more unique otherwise all department stores around the world tend to be the same because all of them have the same brands," she said.

Odel which has seventeen retail chain outlets across the island opened a series of stores in Colombo's suburbs in 2011 with the latest opening in Wattala owing to increased urbanization and changing customer lifestyle trends.

Odel Plc posted a turnover of 3.8 billion rupees in the financial year of 2011-2012 ending 31st March, a growth of fifteen percent from a year earlier.

"The year 2011/2012 was a year of expansion with a strategy to add stores in key locations that have market potential", the company said in its annual report.

The company employs around 430 people and gets products from about 1000 suppliers including 200 local and foreign factories.

Odel says everyday over 3000 people on average walking in to their main retail store in Alexandra place, Colombo with seventy to eighty percent of them making purchases including tourists.
http://www.lbo.lk/fullstory.php?nid=1071231696

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