Born in 2014, Royal Enfield’s apparel business has grown rather rapidly in the last couple of years, with a vast line-up of motorcycle safety gear, casual wear and accessories now available. Most recently, the company has introduced the Make it Yours customisation programme to the apparel business, which allows customers to personalise the products; here’s how we customised a helmet.
Puneet Sood, head -apparel business, tells us 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 motorcycles, the priority lies in offering quality and stylish products, but at an affordable 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.
Forming alliances with dedicated gear manufacturers is something 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.
Sood tells us 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.
While he doesn’t go into specifics, Sood says 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 growing popularity of the adventure segment, we’re told there will soon be more adventure-specific gear designed with Indian conditions in mind.
Royal Enfield is undoubtedly taking a leaf from Harley-Davidson, who’s General Merchandise business earns the American company many millions every year. RE already has a large range of tastefully designed casual wear branded apparel. A rough estimate suggests that about half of the apparel buyers are not RE motorcycle owners, and the company recognizes the immense brand building value this holds.
Further growth will happen here as well, not only in the products available, but 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 brick and mortar brand stores.
Effectively, Royal Enfield is striving towards increasing its brand visibility even further, both on the road and off it.