Luxury motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is betting big on its apparel stores for engaging with prospective customers. The company, which has four stores spread across East and North-East India, is looking to add 8-12 stores this year in western and northern parts of the country.
Harley-Davidson has entered into an agreement with G-III Apparel Group to design and distribute its lifestyle apparel throughout Asia. Under the agreement, G-III will develop a network of Harley-Davidson apparel stores in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to Karen Davidson, Creative Director, Harley-Davidson MotorClothes, two more stores are likely to come up in Varanasi and Goa. Apart from Kolkata, the company has one store each in Siliguri in West Bengal, Dimapur in Nagaland and Imphal (Manipur).
“We will gradually growing our network of stores in India. It is still in the planning stage. Anybody who comes to Harley comes through our merchandise. It is our way to get to the dreamers,” she told BusinessLine.
According to Karen Davidson, who is also the great-grand daughter of William A Davidson, co-Founder of Harley-Davidson, the collaboration with G-III is in sync with the company’s long-term strategy to build next generation of riders through lifestyle apparel.
“The apparel line embodies Harley-Davidson’s history and American motorcycle culture, featuring unique details, stylish silhouettes and high quality fabrics,” she said. The US-based premium bike maker has sold more than 20,000 motorcycles since the commencement of its retail operations in India in 2010.
The company claims to command a 50 per cent share of the cruiser motorbike segment in India at present.
The company has added close to 8,000 Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) members and 30 H.O.G chapters since commencement of its retail operations.
Women bikers currently account for a small share (of the company’s sales) in India.
“The share of women bikers in the US is close to 12 per cent, while in India it is still at a nascent stage We hope that the community ‘Ladies of Harley’ can help as we feel one woman biker can inspire many more to join the club,” she said.