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Extensive SWOT Analysis of Wills Lifestyle – An Apparel Brand Under The ITC Umbrella

by | Case Studies | 0 comments

Last time we went through the astonishing SWOT analysis of Patagonia – One Of The Most Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Retailers. This time let’s have a look at the SWOT Analysis Of Wills Lifestyle.

Wills Lifestyle, a brand that comes under the ITC umbrella, is an apparel brand. After undergoing many changes the company is now known as WLS. The brand has made a 100% shift to natural and biodegradable materials and now offers a huge variety of clothing for both men and women that are naturally produced. 

The reason why Wills Lifestyle got diminished in the market is because of its poor implementation of marketing strategies. In this digital era where almost every business is going online, digital marketing has become very important in today’s world and if you want to learn and gain more knowledge about it, go over to our Free MasterClass On Digital Marketing 101 by Karan Shah, the CEO and Founder of IIDE.

Thus this makes us keen to know how Wills Lifestyle got shut down and why it got renamed as WLS, here we have done an extensive SWOT Analysis Of Wills Lifestyle. But before starting its SWOT Analysis Of Wills Lifestyle let’s get a brief idea about Wills Lifestyle as a company, its products, competitors, financials, and more.

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About Wills Lifestyle

SWOT Analysis of Wills Lifestyle - Wills Lifestyle aka WLS Store

Wills Lifestyle was founded in the year 1999 as Wills Sports, a brand owned by ITC. The brand has made many transformations since then and the most recent and major one is its rebranding to ‘WLS’. The company claims to use 100% natural and biodegradable materials to make its apparel. It is the first established and recognized Indian apparel brand to take this step of moving and reconnecting again with nature and reducing pollution in every possible way.

The brand offers almost all types of men’s and women’s apparel & accessories. All these products come under a very large number of collections that are naturally produced and sustainable. WLS has positioned itself as a premium brand in the market and hence prices its products at a higher rate.

The brand’s target audience is people from urban cities who usually visit malls and premium stores to purchase high-quality premium clothes. That’s why WLS’s exclusive stores are in high-end malls and shopping complexes in metropolitan cities of India. They also sell online through their website and their products are also available on different e-commerce sites like Amazon, Myntra, Ajio, Flipkart etc.

Quick Stats on Wills Lifestyle
Founder Vikas Gupta
Year Founded 1999
Origin India
No. of Employees 500+
Company Type Private
Market Cap N/A
Annual Revenue N/A
Net Income/ Profit N/A

 

SWOT Analysis of Wills Lifestyle - Inside Store

Products of Wills Lifestyle 

A wide variety of products have been offered by WIlls LIfestyle. Some of the Men & Women apparel are: 

  • Shirts 
  • T-shirts 
  • Trousers 
  • Shorts  
  • Jeans 
  • Jackets


Competitors of Wills Lifestyle

Wills Lifestyle faces strong competition from numerous brands. Top competitors of Wills Lifestyle are:  

  • Shoppers Stop
  • Westside
  • Allen Solly
  • Arrow
  • Blackberrys


As now we have a better understanding of Wills Lifestyle, let’s look into the SWOT analysis of Wills Lifestyle (Now WLS).


SWOT Analysis of Wills Lifestyle

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis is a famous method that is used to evaluate a company’s position and helps them in developing strategic planning. SWOT Analysis helps the companies in finding out internal and external factors, and also helps them in looking for the prospects for the company.

To better understand the SWOT analysis of Wills Lifestyle, refer to the infographic below:

SWOT Analysis of Wills Lifestyle - SWOT Infographics of Wills Lifestyle

So let us first start by looking at the strengths of Wills Lifestyle from the SWOT analysis of Wills Lifestyle.

Strengths of Wills Lifestyle

Strengths represent everything that an organization is good at and why it sets them apart from the competition. They are the internal and positive attributes of any company. These are the essential factors that aid the success of the company and the brand. WLS’s strengths are:

  • Differentiated Offerings: Their products made of natural and biodegradable materials make them unique and attract ample customers. 
  • Distribution and Reach: The brand is globally famous for its diversified products and they ensure that their customers get their products most conveniently. 
  • Customer Programmes: WLS provides customer loyalty programmes and membership schemes to their customers and through which customers get special preference too. 
  • Hands of ITC: Strong backing from the parent company ITC makes Wills Lifestyle still stand in the market as WLS.  


Weaknesses of Wills Lifestyle
 

Weaknesses pull an organization back from performing at its best. They are the negative internal factors that weaken your strengths. Certain examples of weaknesses are irregular target population, bad factory set up, weak financial performance, poor systems that you apply, inexperienced leadership and many more. The drawbacks or weaknesses of Wills Lifestyle are:

  • Market Not Yet Captured: The brand WLS has still not captured the complete market. A lot of segments are needed to be captured in the market.
  • Limited Financial Backing: Due to the past failures with Wills Lifestyle, ITC is not investing enough in its new brand WLS which causes it to fall behind its competitors.
  • Low Brand Awareness: People are not aware of whether the brand still exists in the market or not. Poor marketing and advertising by ITC has led to low brand awareness.
  • Poor Social Media Presence: WLS has still not updated any post on its social media accounts since August 2019. ITC has recreated the brand in 2019 but from the same year onwards it is lagging in marketing its new brand.  
  • Aggressive Pricing: The brand WLS is charging high prices for its products. The price range for most of their pieces varies from around Rs.1200 to Rs.7000 which is high for a brand that previously got closed. WLS should focus on a minimum pricing methodology to establish the brand again in the market. Saying itself as a premium brand after huge losses and thus charging high prices for its products will no longer take the brand to close again.
  • Employee Beliefs Towards Brand: Causing the shut down of Wills Lifestyle, many employees from the production house, retail stores and other operational sectors got unemployed. Now, after reopening as WLS, people who are finding employment are not considering WLS as a safe place to work due to the fear that the brand might get closed again. 
  • Common USP: Wills Lifestyle now WLS is calling its natural and biodegradable products as its USP is not something unique. Some of the Indian local established brands such as B Label, No Nasties, MixMitti etc. are already ruling the sustainable fashion market.   


Opportunities for Wills Lifestyle

Opportunities are the factors that provide an organization with an edge over others. They are the external factors that contribute to the success of any company. Certain opportunities that Wills Lifestyle has:

  • Increasing E-retail Presence: WLS is still selling its products on e-commerce platforms with its old name Wills Lifestyle which is not considered a great move to establish a new brand name. WLS should come up with its official e-commerce platform where it can sell products directly to its customers and can personally interact with them to collect feedback and solve queries. This move will help WLS to establish its brand and start the journey of climbing ladders to success.  
  • Social Media Presence: With the boom of the internet, social media platforms have emerged quite well and it has been increasing greatly. WLS should increase its social media presence by posting updates about the brand on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter, which the brand has not done for the past 2 years. If implemented properly then it can come out as a great opportunity for them.  

Bonus Tip: From the above bullet points, we can understand how important digital marketing is to build a brand in the market. It is also one of the cost-effective methods for the companies who are re-establishing just like WLS and for the ones who are starting with the new business. 

If you are keen to implement digital marketing strategies in your business then first you must understand the core of digital marketing which is only possible by learning various digital marketing skills from digital industry experts. Remember, you cannot bake the cake without preparing the base. So, do check out all these links for your benefit.  

  • Diversification of Product Portfolio: WLS is losing the market because of fewer options in its product portfolio. If you visit Myntra you will see that Wills lifestyle is only available with 14 products and that’s only for women. To survive in the market, WLS has to use the latest technologies and marketing strategies to expand its product portfolio for both genders.
  • Eco-friendly Products: In today’s world, where consumers are more environmentally aware than ever, they are preferring products that align with their beliefs. So, if WLS has decided to tap into the production of natural and biodegradable cloths then it should properly set up a monopoly in the market with the help of its parent company support. 


Threats to Wills Lifestyle

Threats are the factors that can affect an organization in a harmful way. These are the external factors over which no company has control. Threats include – competitive advantages of rivals, uncontrollable things such as natural disasters, government policies, market fluctuation and many more. A couple of Wills Lifestyle’s threats are: 

  • Competitors: Wills Lifestyle’s competitors have increased in recent times, who produce and sell similar products like them. A few are well known multinational brands that are luring away WLS’s customers.
  • Customer’s Shopping Culture: People prefer online shopping from e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart, offering various products at significantly low prices. WLS has been hit by competition and aggressive discounts being offered by e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon.
  • High Real Estate Prices: One of the reasons why the company Wills Lifestyle gradually shut its stores in the year 2019 was due to high real estate prices and increasing operational costs. The new brand WLS is facing the same again or even more after switching to the production of natural and biodegradable cloths which consist of more operational costs.
  • Tactics by Competitors: Other brands could use aggressive marketing tactics such as cutting prices and increasing the promotion to attract more customers and sell their products, affecting Wills Lifestyle’s sales and customer loyalty.
  • Rumours of the Brand Shutting Down: WLS is facing strict rumours of the brand getting shut down again because of its history of losses and physical stores still frequently being closed. These rumours can turn out in fact if WLS will longer continue its disappearance in the market. Recently, there has been no update from WLS on whether the brand exists or not.

This ends our extensive SWOT analysis of Wills Lifestyle. Let us conclude our learning below.

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To Conclude

Wills Lifestyle was one of the top brands in the lifestyle and retail sector in its time. But recently they haven’t been performing up to the mark and their customers are choosing other brands over WLS, especially E-commerce, which is easily accessible to customers. 

According to the SWOT analysis of Wills Lifestyle, being such a huge brand WLS with the support of a strong parent company ITC should continue to innovate and develop more products and launch them in the markets to show its existence with the best possible marketing strategies, especially using digital marketing which is vital in today’s growing and expanding world, to get better results and to remain competitive in the market. 

If you don’t have any idea of what digital marketing is or want to learn more about it and upgrade your skills in marketing, feel free to check out IIDE’s 3 Month Advanced Online Digital Marketing Course to know more.

We hope this blog on the SWOT analysis of Wills Lifestyle has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

If you enjoy in-depth company research just like the SWOT analysis of Wills Lifestyle, check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and do share your thoughts on this case study of the SWOT analysis of Wills Lifestyle in the comments section below.

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

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