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Hrithik Roshan's HRX ready to launch sports, fitness equipment in times of COVID-19

Activewear brand launches new category with Flipkart after receiving many inquiries on sports and fitness equipment. Co-founder and CEO Afsar Zaidi expects a 10-15 percent contribution from sports and fitness equipment to total revenues. HRX became a brand worth Rs 500 crore in the first quarter of 2021.

May 31, 2021 / 05:30 PM IST

Actor Hrithik Roshan’s co-owned activewear brand HRX is ready to launch a new category after seeing strong traction for apparel and footwear last year.

Company's co-founder and CEO, Afsar Zaidi, in a chat with Moneycontrol said that last year, after receiving many inquiries from HRX customers on sports and fitness equipment, they decided to launch a new category with Flipkart. The brand, which sells only through e-commerce platforms, is available on Flipkart, Jabong and Myntra.

"The pandemic propelled all of us to think about fitness, and, last year, every household had an everyday athlete," Zaidi added.

According to a Boston Consulting Group report, while India’s apparel market was down 27 percent from Rs 41.29 crore in 2019 to Rs 30.22 crore in 2020, the athleisure category witnessed significant growth owing to the work-from-home culture and the fitness needs of consumers.

Banking on the focus on fitness in India, HRX is expanding its portfolio and adding the sports and fitness category. It will start selling yoga mats, which, Zaidi said, is the basic thing when someone starts to work out at home.

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"From (yoga) mats, we moved to dumbbells. Then we moved to sports equipment for badminton, football and volleyball. Two things which are my personal favourites are treadmills and cycles (which HRX will offer under the sports and fitness equipment category)."

So, the brand will launch dumbbells, kettlebells, and yoga mats in the first phase in June this year and items like bicycles and treadmills in the second phase in the third quarter.

When it comes to price point, a pair of 5-kg dumbbells will cost you around Rs 1,600.

When it comes to HRX launching a new category, it doesn't come as a surprise.

Focus on fitness

Last year, on e-commerce platform Amazon, products like yoga mats and gym sets saw five times more demand in April-May as compared to the pre-COVID period.

Sports goods companies like Decathlon, too, saw a 35 percent increase in yoga mats last year. Overall, industry experts estimated that in April and May last year, demand for fitness equipment was 60 percent higher as compared to the same period in 2019.

Even HRX, with the addition of new category of sports and fitness, is expecting strong growth.

HRX betting big on new category

“We are expecting a contribution from sports and fitness equipment in the range of 10-15 percent of total revenues," said Zaidi. Currently, apparel is the largest category for HRX, with 60 percent contribution coming from clothes and “30-35 percent from footwear and the remaining 5 percent from accessories," he added.

HRX, which became a brand worth Rs 500 crore in the first quarter of 2021, had clocked a revenue of Rs 375 crore last year.

Sharing more details about the clothes category, Zaidi said that in the apparel category, the male and female breakup has shifted from the 70:30 ratio to 65 percent and 35 percent, currently.

He also noted that last year, the footwear category got the maximum traction, unlike in previous years when the category saw a gradual increase in the percentage it was garnering in overall HRX sales.

In terms of new categories, HRX had also launched wireless audio devices last year .

This year, it plans to enter three categories.

"There is an interesting space we are entering. We have partnered with a brand called Noise and we will be launching tech products. There are two more areas, grooming and nutrition, where you will see HRX soon," said Zaidi.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: May 31, 2021 05:30 pm

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