Fashion 2024 & Beyond: Adapting to Changing Innovation Dynamics (VIDEO)

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February 21, 2024

The ability of fashion businesses to endure and thrive in the face of stiff competition and changing market dynamics is all about adapting to innovation, customer-centricity, and strategic planning. The correlation between high performing fashion business and product innovation is undeniable.

This panel discussion brings Design and Business Heads together to brainstorm on how fashion companies can devise strategies to drive innovation to remain competitive, meet evolving consumer expectations, and stay ahead of the race.

Moderator: Devangshu Dutta, Founder & Chief Executive, Third Eyesight

Panelists:

  • Anshu Grover Bhogra, CBO, Forever New
  • Diksha Bhatia, Founder, Gioia Co
  • Mansi Lohia, CEO, Black Watermelon
  • Rohit Aneja, Director- Grapevine Designs, CEO be-blu! Lake Como
  • Sean Ashby, Founder & CEO, Aussiebum
  • Swikruti Pradhan, Founder, Rustic Hue
  • Yogesh Kakar, Chief Product Officer – Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein, PVH Arvind Fashion

A new flight plan

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November 20, 2023

Christina Moniz, Financial Express

November 20, 2023

he country’s largest airline IndiGo just announced the launch of a premium luggage range in collaboration with actor Deepika Padukone-backed lifestyle brand Mokobara. The new luggage collection, Moko 6E, offers a check-in bag and a cabin bag in the signature IndiGo blue.

IndiGo has sweetened the deal for its passengers, offering customers an extra 2 kilos of baggage allowance for one year after purchase at no additional cost. With a starting price of Rs 9,999 and a six-year warranty, IndiGo says it is looking to reach more discerning consumers who travel for business or leisure.

The airline already enjoys a substantial share of over 60% in India’s domestic civil aviation sector as per DGCA data. So why is it making its way into the Rs 50,000-crore luggage market in the country? According to an IndiGo spokesperson, the aim is to leverage the carrier’s strong brand presence to target modern Indian jet setters and create a seamless travel experience.

Vejay Anand, CEO, Ironhill India, points out that balancing creating a new identity for the luggage line while leveraging the well-established airline image without diluting its core values will be a delicate task. “This venture was more than a market expansion; it was about intertwining their brand heritage with travellers’ lives, ensuring passengers carry the airline’s reliability beyond flights,” he remarks.

Navigating the market

Although the luggage market is huge in the country, industry reports estimate that the organised and branded segment is around 40% with players like VIP Industries and Samsonite taking up the lion’s share. Devangshu Dutta, CEO of Third Eyesight notes that rather than the potential quantum of business, it is more relevant to see a brand collaboration such as this as helping both companies create a buzz in the market. He observes that there is some degree of resonance in the design philosophies of both brands, pitched largely to millennial consumers.

Ambika Sharma, founder & MD of creative digital agency Pulp Strategy, observes that the carrier’s decision to enter the luggage segment could offer several advantages for IndiGo the brand. “Expanding into luggage provides IndiGo an opportunity to showcase its brand beyond the airline industry, strengthening its overall brand image and positioning it as a lifestyle brand. Offering a branded luggage line can enhance customer loyalty and engagement by providing travellers with a convenient and consistent travel experience,” says Sharma.

She however adds that making a mark in a competitive market with established players will be a challenge for the company. She cautions, “Consumers may not immediately associate IndiGo as a luggage brand, requiring significant marketing efforts to establish brand recognition. Creating a unique selling proposition that distinguishes the Moko 6E luggage from competitors is crucial. Effectively managing logistics and supply chains is critical to ensure timely product delivery and customer satisfaction.”

That said, India is a predominantly price-sensitive market where prominent brands sell luggage for as low as Rs 1,999, the brand may eventually have to revisit its pricing strategy if it has to compete with established players. “By offering a range of pricing options, IndiGo could cater to a wider set of consumers, potentially appealing to different market segments. This would ensure a more comprehensive market penetration while retaining its premium positioning,” states brand expert Anand.

With this association, the collaborator brand, three-year-old Mokobora, a premium travel and lifestyle brand established as recently as 2020, could also get a leg-up in terms of both visibility and accessibility. Anand notes that the lifestyle brand will, through this collaboration, be able to reach out to an audience of about 3 lakh or more air travellers in the country every day.

As of October this year, IndiGo has over 2,000 scheduled daily flights which include cargo operations, as well as CAPF and Army charters, allowing Moko 6E to reach a significant number of travellers daily.

(Published in Financial Express)

Decathlon FY23 sales shoot up 37% in India

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October 26, 2023

Sagar Malviya, Economic Times
26 October 2023

Surging demand for fitness wear and sports equipment for disciplines other than cricket and football helped Decathlon’s India unit expand sales 37% to Rs 3,955 crore in FY23. With more than 100 large, warehouse-like stores selling products catering to 85 sporting disciplines, the French company is bigger than Adidas, Nike and Asics all put together in India.

In FY22, sales were Rs 2,936 crore, according to its latest filings with the Registrar of Companies. The retailer, however, posted a net loss of Rs 18.6 crore during the year ended March 2023 compared to a net profit of Rs 36 crore a year ago.

Experts said a host of factors – from pricing products about 30-40% lower than competing products to selling everything from running shoes, athleisure wear to mountaineering equipment under its own brands – has worked in its favour. “They have an extremely powerful format across different sporting activities and have something for both active and casual wear shoppers. For them, the market is still under penetrated with the kind of comprehensive product range they sell for outdoor sports beyond shoes and clothing,” said Devangshu Dutta, founder of retail consulting firm Third Eyesight. “Even their front end staff seem to have a strong domain knowledge about products compared to rival brands.”

By selling only private labels, Decathlon, the world’s biggest sporting goods firm, controls almost every bit of operations, from pricing and design to distribution, and keeps costs and selling prices low.

Decathlon uses a combination of in-house manufacturing and outsourcing to stock its shelves. In fact, it sources nearly 15% of its global requirement from India across sporting goods. And nearly all of its cricket merchandise sold globally is designed and made in India.

(Published in Economic Times)

Why are D2C brands in India being bought by larger companies (VIDEO)

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August 26, 2023

Several new-age startups in the D2C space in India are being acquired by bigger FMCG companies.

Retailers may soon be asked to not demand customer phone numbers

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May 24, 2023

Shambhavi Anand, Economic Times

New Delhi, May 24, 2023

Retailers and shopkeepers will soon not be allowed to seek phone numbers of their customers while generating bills, according to a diktat by the department of consumer affairs, a senior government official said.

Taking the numbers of customers without their “express consent” is a breach and encroachment of privacy, said the official, without wanting to be identified.

The official added that such a move will be classified as an unfair trading practice defined as any business practice or act that is deceptive, fraudulent, or causes injury to a consumer.

Most large retailers mandatorily take down buyers’ phone numbers while generating the bill for their purchases and use them for loyalty programmes or sending push messages.

The move has come after the department received several complaints from consumers about retailers insisting on getting their phone numbers. This will be communicated to all retailers through industry bodies representing retailers soon, the official added.

While the implementation of these new rules may require some adjustments and initial costs for retailers, it is seen as a necessary step towards protecting consumer privacy and ensuring fair business practices in the retail sector, said experts.

While retailers will have to rework their systems in case this becomes a regulation, this won’t stop them from asking for phone numbers of consumers as their loyalty programmes run on these numbers, said Devangshu Dutta, founder of Third Eyesight, a retail consultancy firm.

He added that retailers also use numbers for sending e-invoices and so this could have a cost impact and environmental impact.

(Published in Economic Times)