Mumbai: The 135-year old eyewear retail chain Lawrence & Mayo is planning to diversify by launching its own watches and pens, a top company official has said.

"We are getting into pens and watches. This will be our own brand Lawrence & Mayo. Though manufacturing will be outsourced, we will be doing the design.

We will be launching the pens by the end of the month and the watches in the next three to four months," the city-based Lawrence & Mayo MD Vivek Mendonsa said on Sunday.

The pens will be retailed at Rs 11,800 onwards while the watches will be sold at Rs 3,500 and upwards, he added.

The Mendonsa family-run company expects that the new segment will contribute close to 3-5 percent of turnover going forward.

The company is expecting a growth of 12 percent this year, on the back of increased penetration and demand for eye wear.

"We are a Rs 112-crore company, and we expect to grow at about 12 percent this year," Mendonsa said.

On revenue contribution, he said, "revenue share from spectacles is 60 perc ent, while 20 percent come from contact lenses and equal percentage come from sun glasses."

Apart from established brands, the company also sells spectacles, sun glasses and contact lenses under its own brand name-- Lawrence & Mayo. The revenue from own brands is 6-7 percent and 8-10 percent in volume, Mendonsa said.

The privately-owned company plans to add new stores, mostly in tier III and IV cities.

"We open about three showrooms a month and will add about 25 stores this year. Currently, we are present in 30 cities with 86 outlets and expansion will be more into smaller towns.

"We have covered most of the Southern cities already.

We have been predominantly there in the West and South and now we are focusing more on the Northern markets," Mendonsa said, adding that the cost of each store is about Rs 40-60 lakh.

The company will spend Rs 2.5 crore on marketing activities, he said.

The firm enjoys a market share of 10 percent in the Rs 900-crore eye wear market that is growing at about 7-8 percent annually.

Asked if the company would go public, he said, "Let''s cross the 125-store mark, post which we will consider going public as by that time we need funds. So far, we have managed through internal accruals".

(Agencies)

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