The FINANCIAL — Three years since entering the Georgian market, global clothing brand LC Waikiki is already available from five stores in Georgia. An additional three will soon be opened during 2015. Tasteful, brave and financially penetrating – this is the type of consumer that chooses LC Waikiki. Despite the recent devaluation of the Georgian Lari, the company is not increasing its prices. The management considers this loyal step of theirs to be their form of social responsibility.
Born in France and fostered in Turkey, LC Waikiki is a multi-cultural fashion brand with global appeal. With clothes and accessories for men, women and children of all ages, including babies, style-aware individuals or families can pick up everything they need from the stores located at Tbilisi Mall, Tbilisi Central, Rustaveli Avenue, Gldani Mall and in Batumi, on Baratashvili Street. The brand’s size is accompanied by a distinctive methodology – high-quality clothes at great value.
Designed with comfort in mind, this range is inspired by the season’s current trends, colours and cuts. LC Waikiki offers a variety of clothes and accessories for tasteful, brave and financially penetrating consumers.
From close-fitting, stylish knitwear for men, to fashionable shoes and slippers for young girls, LC Waikiki has exactly what you need, when you need it. As the summer arrives the brand’s stylish shirts and shorts can be chosen in innumerable combinations, then when the temperature drops there’s a huge number of cosy and sophisticated jackets and coats on offer.
LC Waikiki now has more than 400 stores in countries around the world. The brand places great emphasis on customer satisfaction and strives to serve each of their customer segments with unparalleled levels of service.
“LC Waikiki entered the Georgian market three years ago. The business has been successfully developing since. We have managed to become established in the Georgian retail business. From year to year the company has been increasing the number of its stores. The volume of turnover has been increasing in accordance,” said Giorgi Dalalishvili, LC Waikiki Director at Georgia and Armenia.
According to Dalalishvili, annual turnover of the company is planned in line with each store. Currently all of them are reaching the maximum of their predicted sales volumes.
LC Waikiki has more than 400 stores worldwide. The share of the Georgian market out of its global turnover is 4.6%. “It is quite an impressive result,” said Dalalishvili.
The GEL devaluation had a negative impact on LC Waikiki. “As a part of an international company we have an individual approach and strategy for this situation. Devaluation was a big pressure on our citizens. We decided not to increase prices despite the fact that as an importer we are purchasing goods in a foreign currency. Maintaining stable prices has not been made at the expense of quality reduction. This is our loyal step towards our customers during the tough economic situation,” said Dalalishvili.
During 2015 LC Waikiki plans to open three more stores in Georgia. Two of them will be in the regions of Georgia, and the third in Tbilisi. “LC Waikiki is broadening its consumer segment in accordance with their demand and taste. We are adding new collection lines each season,” Dalalishvili said.
LC Waikiki offers clothes to males, females and kids as well. A wide range of accessories is also offered by the company. The female’s segment makes up 27% of the sales portfolio, the male’s share is 30% and the largest, or 43%, of the sales volume is the children’s segment.
Traditionally Georgians are more prone to like dark clothing tones. Black has been the most popular colour for a long time. Meanwhile, the very first association of LC Waikiki is its bright colours. Dalalishvili said that before entering the Georgian market, the main problem that the company faced was the average consumer’s attitude towards bright colours. However, three years down the line, he claims that consumer attitudes towards colour have changed significantly.
“LC Waikiki has been helping Georgians acquire new style step by step,” he added.
“Tasteful, brave and financially penetrating – is how Dalalishvili describes the customers of LC Waikiki. The company’s motto is: everyone deserves to dress well, in accordance with their style and budget, to feel comfortable.
The average age of our customers varies from 25 to 45. However, they acquire clothes not only for themselves, but also for their children.
LC Waikiki stores are present in the following locations: Tbilisi Mall, Tbilisi Central, Rustaveli Avenue, Gldani Mall and in Batumi, on Baratashvili Street. “By opening so many stores in one city, we wanted to provide easy access to our stores for customers, in line with their residential locations,” Dalalishvili explained.
Another shopping mall will soon be opened in the Lilo district. Some experts have been sceptical about the need for it on the retail market. However, as Dalalishvili said, opening an additional shopping mall is good for fair competition. Having only one or two spaces automatically creates a monopoly. It is reflected in rent prices. As he said, LC Waikiki plans to enter this mall.
Contrary to in Georgia, LC Waikiki entered the Armenian market just a year ago and is present there in one store. In 2015 the company plans to open one more store there.
“Armenia has quite a diverse market, bordering Georgia. The dressing culture of Armenians has only developed quite recently. It was an indicator that Armenian consumers were ready for a new brand of high quality clothing at affordable prices,” Dalalishvili said.
Dalalishvili is quite successful with his business in Armenia. “Since opening the shop in Armenia it has been working very successfully. Given the social and economic conditions in Armenia, with a high rate of unemployment our company is developing slower than in Georgia. The brand in Armenia is only present in one store for now. The import process is much more developed in Georgia, which is another difference between Georgia and Armenia. However, LC Waikiki was first introduced to Armenian consumers just a year ago. Accordingly, we are optimistic regarding the further expansion of our business on this market. During this year one more store will be opened in Armenia,” Dalalishvili said.
“Armenian customers are not as bold as Georgians when choosing clothes. The main share still prefer pastilles and dark colours regardless of the season. Georgian consumers are more prone to casual styles,” Dalalishvili told The FINANCIAL.
The popularity of LC Waikiki among Georgian consumers has been once more confirmed when the company received the Golden Brand 2014 nomination. The most colourful brand has now turned “golden”, which is the colour of success, achievement and triumph.