Seamless Customer Experience in an Omnichannel Retail World

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May 8, 2024

At the recent Phygital Retail Convention in Mumbai, Devangshu Dutta anchored an engaging “Fireside Chat” with Bhavana Jaiswal of IKEA India and Kapil Makhija of Unicommerce , on retailers engaging with their customers across channels and formats, and the opportunities as well as challenges in managing experiences seamlessly across online and offline interfaces.

Watch the video at this link:

Realty race in Maximum City as Tata Group, Reliance Industries keep on shopping

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February 23, 2024

Kailash Babar & Sagar Malviya, Economic Times

Mumbai, 23 February 2024

Tata Group and Reliance Industries, two of India’s largest conglomerates, are vying for premium retail real estate in Mumbai as they extend their footprints, creating rivalry in a city starved of marquee properties. From Zara and Starbucks to Westside and Titan, the Tata Group occupies nearly 25 million square feet of retail space in India. That is still no match for Reliance Industries that control three times more at 73 million sq ft for more than 100 local and global brands.

But in Mumbai, they are evenly matched, having nearly 3 million sq ft of retail space each. That is a quarter of what is considered the most prime retail real estate in the country, and both the retail giants are looking for more.

“In a modern retail environment, most visible locations contain more successful or larger brands. It just so happens that many of those brands are owned by either Reliance or the Tatas,” said Devangshu Dutta, founder of Third Eyesight, a strategy consulting firm.

“Tatas have been in retail for longer but also slower to scale up compared to Reliance which had this stated ambition of being the most dominant and put the money behind it,” he said.

In a market where demand is much higher than supply, developers and landlords seek to separate the wheat from the chaff, experts said. Ultimately, success in Mumbai’s retail real estate scene hinges on a delicate equilibrium between accommodating industry leaders and fostering a vibrant, varied shopping environment, they said. “In the competitive landscape of retail real estate in Mumbai, commercial developers and mall owners often face the strategic challenge of accommodating prominent retail brands,” said Abhishek Sharma, director, retail, at commercial real estate consultants Knight Frank India.

“These big brands, with a significant market share of 40-45% in the Indian retail sector, can easily be termed as industry giants and possess the potential to command 45-50% of space in any mall,” he said. According to Sharma, there may be perceptions of preferential treatments, but the dynamics are complex, and developers must balance the demand from these major brands with the need for a diverse tenant mix.

Tata Group entered retail in the late 1980s, initially by opening Titan watch stores and a decade later by launching department store Westside. So far, it has about 4,600 stores, including brands such as Tanishq, Starbucks, Westside, Zudio, Zara and Croma.

While Reliance Retail started in 2006, it overcompensated for its late entry by aggressively opening stores across formats. Reliance has over 18,774 stores across supermarkets, electronics, jewellery, and apparel space. It has also either partnered or acquired over 80 global brands, from Gap and Superdry to Balenciaga and Jimmy Choo. A diverse portfolio of brands across various segments through strategic partnerships and collaborations helps an entity like Reliance to leverage synergies and enhance retail presence, especially in malls, experts said.

“The array of brands with Reliance bouquet allows it to enter early into the project and set the tone and positioning of the mall,” said a retail leasing expert who requested not to be identified.

“This positively helps the mall to set its own positioning and future tenant mix. It also helps Reliance place their brands in most relevant zones within the mall. This will emerge as a clear differentiator in a city like Mumbai where brands are already jostling for space, which is the costliest in the country,” the person added.

(Published in Economic Times)

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

Venture Capital in Retail – What Attracts Investors to Retail Business (VIDEO)

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February 15, 2024

An insightful must-watch discussion, moderated by Devangshu Dutta (Founder, Third Eyesight), with venture capital fund managers, investors and entrepreneurs in retail on what factors attract investors to retail businesses.

The panelists included Vikram Gupta (Founder & Managing Partner, IvyCap Ventures), Amar Nagaram, (Co-Founder, Virgio), and Vikram Gawande (Vice President, Growth, Blume Ventures).

Reliance Retail to make value store foray with Yousta

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August 3, 2023

Viveat Susan Pinto, Financial Express

August 3, 2023

The country’s largest organised retailer, Reliance Retail, is working on a new value retail store format called Yousta. The move will pit Reliance Retail directly with Trent’s Zudio, Landmark Group’s Max Fashion and Shoppers Stop’s Intune, informed sources have told Fe, as growth prospects beckon in the category.

Reliance Retail will roll out the new Yousta stores of around 5,000-10,000 sq. ft. in size in cities such as Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai in the initial phase, the sources said.

Pricing will be competitive at under Rs 500 per unit, targeted at youth, children and families.

A gradual ramp-up of stores across more metros and cities will happen in the months ahead, as Reliance Retail is looking to take store count of Yousta to around 200-250 over the next few years. The retailer is speaking to malls and high streets across cities to lease space for the new format, persons in the know said. Executives at Reliance Retail were not immediately available for comment.

However, some experts see Reliance Retail’s move as a belated acknowledgement of a segment that constitutes nearly 90% ($45 billion) of the estimated $50 billion domestic fashion market. The premium end is pegged at 10% ($5 billion) of the domestic fashion market.

“Much of the attention of apparel retailers in recent years has been at the top-end of the fashion market. While affluence at the top-end is high, the space has also become crowded with local and international brands,” says Devangshu Dutta, chief executive officer at Gurugram-based retail consultancy Third Eyesight.

“The larger value retail market has consumers in the middle and lower middle class who while being conscious of their budgets are also aspirational,” he says. “With the right product and pricing, volume sales can be significant in this segment,” he says.

Reliance Retail has an existing value retail format called Reliance Trends, which has nearly 2,500 stores across the country. However, the company has been looking to broaden its appeal in the category with more store formats, sector experts said. Yousta is expected to fill that gap, they say.

“The value retail market has long-term growth potential because there are number of consumers who are moving from unbranded to branded products. They are looking at affordably-priced branded goods, which value retailers can cater to,” says Aliasgar Shakir, retail analyst at Mumbai-based brokerage Motilal Oswal.

Some experts say that the discretionary slowdown in the marketplace has pushed apparel retailers to look at the value retail space more closely.

“Intune is a ‘Fashion For All’ format, which is one of our strategic initiatives to cater to young families,” Venu Nair, MD & CEO, Shoppers Stop, said in a recent investor call.

Nair admitted on the earnings call that the apparel segment in general has been witnessing moderation and that the value retail foray could help the company tap into the growing trend for affordable fashion and lifestyle products.

Trent’s Zudio and Max Fashion have big plans for the category. At Trent’s FY23 annual general meeting held recently, the company said it would open 200 stores of Zudio in FY24, much higher than estimates of analysts. In FY23, Trent had opened 117 Zudio outlets taking the total store count of the brand to 352.

Max Fashion will add 100 stores in the next one year, top officials at the company said, taking its total outlet count to close to 600.

(Published in Financial Express)