The FINANCIAL -- Global clothing brand LC Waikiki is planning to open four new stores in Georgia - two in the capital Tbilisi, one in Georgia’s Black Sea resort town Batumi, and one in Zugdidi, a town in the West Georgian historical province of Samegrelo.
As of today, Waikiki is positioned with eight stores in Georgia, three of which were opened in 2015. Waikiki is available in Georgia’s most important markets, such as Tbilisi, Batumi, Zugdidi and Kutaisi, which is the second largest city in Georgia.
Born in France and fostered in Turkey, LC Waikiki is a multi-cultural fashion brand with global appeal. LC Waikiki entered Georgia four years ago and the business has been successfully developing since then. The clothing brand has managed to become established in the Georgian retail business.
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 LC Waikiki stores.
The brand’s size is accompanied by a distinctive methodology - high-quality clothes at great value.
Tasteful, brave and financially perceptive - this is the type of consumer that chooses LC Waikiki. Designed with comfort in mind, this range is inspired by the season’s current trends, colours and cuts.
LC Waikiki Director of Georgia and Armenia Giorgi Dalalishvili told The FINANCIAL that sales of LC Waikiki have increased by 11 percent.
“This was a very good result taking into account the devaluation of the Georgian national currency the Lari against the United States dollar,” he said.
Taking into account the fact that devaluation put big pressure on Georgian customers, LC Waikiki management decided not to increases prices despite the fact that, as an importer, it also purchases goods in a foreign currency.
“Maintaining stable prices has not been made at the expense of quality reduction. This was our loyal step towards our customers considering the tough economic situation,” said Dalalishvili.
About 90,000 - 140,000 people visit LC Waikiki stores in Georgia every month. The average age of the customers varies from 25 to 45. The female segment makes up 25 percent of the sales portfolio, the male share is 30 percent, and the largest share (or 45 percent) of the sales volume is the children’s segment.
“In the children’s section the most highly-demanded items are printed t-shirts and comfortable sports trousers. As for men, they prefer jeans and casual t-shirts, while women usually opt for comfort and style. They mostly buy dresses, skirts and t-shirts,” Dalalishvili said.
All three segments are attracted by one thing - the combination of quality, price and fashionable clothes.
“The company’s motto is: everyone deserves to dress well, in accordance with their style and budget, to feel comfortable. The reason why LC Waikiki is so popular in Georgia is that it offers fashionable and high quality clothes at affordable prices,” Dalalishvili said.
LC Waikiki is positioned in Armenia as well where a third store was opened in 2016. As Dalalishvili said, LC Waikiki has been becoming a favourite brand in Armenia as well. LC Waikiki entered the Armenian market in 2015.
LC Waikiki is a proud winner of the most prestigious and influential business awards in Georgia - Golden Brand, for the second year in a row. Dalalishvili explained that the utmost success LC Waikiki achieved in 2015 has not gone unnoticed by the more than 100 local experts who recognised the company as Golden Brand worthy.
The most colourful brand has now turned “golden”, which is the colour of success, achievement and triumph.
Q. Let’s say a customer has just GEL 100-200 (about USD 45-91). What could they buy with that money?
A. With that amount of money it is absolutely possible to buy a complete so-called ‘outfit’ - a set of clothes that are worn together. So a customer with this money in their wallet can dress from head to toe easily.
Q. How would you assess the Georgian retail market and how would you characterize Georgian customers?
A. The Georgian retail market is developing and we are happy to see positive remarks. Without developing the market in general and increasing the solvency rate of customers it is impossible for the company to grow and better position itself on the market.
We are leaders in the children’s segment and hold a very respectable position in the adult segment as well. Georgian customers are very loyal towards their favourite brand and we also always meet their expectations.
Georgian customers are very fashionable, always trying to follow the latest trends. Our company has special staff who select fashionable clothes for Georgian customers - collections which will be greatly liked in Georgia. Following this order we receive the collections and sell them in our stores.
Q. What is the market share of LC Waikiki in Georgia and in Armenia?
A. If we take into account the sales volume and number of items offered in LC Waikiki’s stores we can easily say that the brand holds one third of market space in Georgia as well as in Armenia.
In terms of its size the stores of LC Waikiki are no less than the world famous brands H&M and ZARA.