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Vanity fair


An array of handbags on display at WITCO.

WHAT CAN be attractive about a luggage store, of all things? Come to WITCO, and you know that suitcases and bags are not so boring after all. The shop promises to look particularly bright the coming Thursday onwards, with a wide array of handbags (as many as 1,000!) on display for the handbag festival. The entire shopping area will be emptied to make way for an exclusive display of handbags till the end of the festival.

WITCO, the chain of stores, was started 51 years ago in Chennai by V.P. Nooruddin and V.P. Harris. Subsequently, they expanded and opened shops in Coimbatore, Trichi, Ooty, Calicut, etc. The 2000-square feet store in Bangalore is the latest addition.

What catches one's attention at WITCO is the display. Travel kits and suitcases are not stacked at random, like they tend to be in other stores, but are showcased well on shelves, installation areas, demonstration tables, and baggage racks. This certainly spells organised retailing. The store's designers, Seema Sameith and Kaiser Jhabeen of RD&M, say that the idea is to enable customers to look at every piece carefully. At the centre of the store is an aquarium. The store, on the whole, presents an environment of airiness and space.

One finds at WITCO a wide range of brands such as Samsonite, American Tourister, Delsey, VIP, Hunter and Co. and so on. Says Seema: "We want to position bags and baggage as a lifestyle product and not a necessity item." This explains the presence of handbags for women here in synthetics, leather, denim, and so on.

Various travel accessories such as travel pillows (priced at Rs. 380), toilette kits (priced at Rs. 60 upwards), trolleys (at Rs. 650), waist pouches, wind cheaters, luggage belts, combination locks, etc., are also available at WITCO. Suitcases and duffel bags are available in various styles and colours. The vanity cases from Samsonite, priced at Rs. 595 upwards, come with combination locks.

The store also has a large collection of portfolios (Rs. 250 upwards) for carrying to the office in variety of material and colours. For those who love trekking, there is a complete range of trekking bags and sleeping bags. WITCO also has a lot for children, in terms of school bags, pencil boxes, waist pouches, purses, tiffin bags, and so on. WITCO can be contacted on 5202274.

TING GARG

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