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ace turtle to open 20 Dockers stores by 2025, launch a brand every year for 3 years: Berry Singh

Homegrown technology native retail company ace turtle is spearheading the retail industry’s next phase of transformation. 

The exclusive licensee of iconic global brands Lee®, Wrangler®, Toys”R”Us®, Babies”R”Us®, and Dockers® for India and other South Asian markets, ace turtle is vertically integrated, managing everything from design and local manufacturing to marketing and direct consumer engagement. 

Powered by its proprietary technology, which uses data science from design to fulfillment, ace turtle meets ever-evolving consumer expectations. 

In a freewheeling interview with IMAGESBoF.in, Berry Singh, COO, ace turtle, enumerated his company’s technological capabilities and how they are helping their partner brands expand their reach in India.

Excerpts from the chat…

What are the top three technologies ace turtle has implemented in its stores, and how have these technologies improved operational efficiency and enhanced consumer experience?

We have deployed several in-store technologies, reshaping the traditional shopping experience across our retail spaces. 

  • Smart Mirrors at our Lee and Wrangler flagship stores dynamically identify items brought in by customers, offering real-time suggestions for an enriched fitting room encounter. 
  • Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) at all our stores (Lee, Wrangler, Toys”R”Us and Dockers) ensure a cohesive view of inventory and pricing, providing customers with instant updates on discounts and promotions. 
  • Endless Aisles seamlessly bridge online and offline channels, enabling flexible ordering and pickup options. 

An augmented reality (AR) mural is showcased at the Wrangler flagship store in Indiranagar, Bengaluru, captivating customers with an interactive visual experience. Complementing this, Wrangler’s AR-enabled smart mirrors transcend traditional fittings, offering personalised recommendations. We have also integrated QR codes into the store’s sale windows, which is a simplified way of integrating technology. 

This comprehensive integration of technologies helps blend innovation seamlessly with consumer engagement.

How are your brands implementing sustainability in their operations, including sourcing, manufacturing, and packaging?

Being one of the denim leaders in the industry, Wrangler needs to lead with sustainable practices while creating good quality products. Apart from basic sustainable practices, Wrangler uses innovative technology like laser finish on jeans which eliminates water usage massively. We also use fabrics made with cutting-edge new indigo dyeing technology which has replaced the water dyeing method with foam dyeing. 

What are ace turtle’s expansion plans for its partner brands? 

Our expansion plans in India are robust and focused on significant growth across our brands. Overall, we will open more than 100 stores across our brands, including Lee, Wrangler, Toys”R”Us, Babies”R”Us, and Dockers. We will continue to launch a new brand every year for the next three years and expand our retail store footprint and online channels, catering to the 400-million-strong Indian middle class. 

Our flagship stores will be in prime locations such as high streets and malls across major metros, with additional expansions into tier-2 and tier-3 cities. We have similar growth plans for Lee, Wrangler and Dockers aiming to open more than 40 new stores in FY24. We currently have 1 Dockers store in Delhi and will open 20 Dockers stores by the end of 2025. Recently, we opened India’s largest flagship store for Lee in Bengaluru, a significant milestone in our expansion journey. 

We are experimenting with a wider assortment of products targeting consumers across mid-to-high-level price points to increase our market share. This year, we are expanding our pricing assortment by adding new products at the top and lower end of the price line

Our offline retail network, which currently includes 94 stores, will continue to play a crucial role in our omnichannel strategy. These stores drive foot traffic and serve as distribution points, creating a more cost-efficient logistics system. 

What is your annual turnover and expected ARR over the next 2 years?

At ace turtle, in FY23, we achieved the highest-ever annual sales for both Lee and Wrangler in their 25-year history in India. We grew the business of both brands by more than 100% in FY23 over FY22. In the last fiscal FY24, we saw significant growth and grew by almost 40% over FY23. 

We have seen strong growth in business for Wrangler, Lee and Toys”R”Us. We launched Dockers in February this year and expect it to add to our revenues in FY25. At a company level, we are targeting a growth of over 60% in revenue in FY2025.  

What is your Omnichannel strategy? What contributes more to your revenue stream – physical stores or online retailing?

As India’s leading technology-native retail company, our goal is to spearhead the Indian retail industry’s next phase of transformation. Rubicon, our proprietary tech platform, has played a crucial role in bridging the gap between online and offline retail channels. 

  • Rubicon enables us to have a single view of the distributed inventory for our brands. This means that even if the consumer does not find the product of one’s choice at the brick-and-mortar store, he/she can either order it from another outlet or the webshop. The consumer also has the option of having the order delivered to the doorstep, or of picking it up at the store. 
  • Availability has emerged as one of the key differentiators in the retail world, and we must take steps to ensure that all products listed in our portfolio are adequately stocked. Rubicon has enabled us to automate tasks such as stock replenishment, which has helped us to reduce instances of non-availability of products. The store inventory is not captive to the walk-in customer and is catalogued and made available across all channels (webshop, stores and online marketplaces) to our customers.

Currently, our sales are coming equally from online and offline channels.

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