Faizan Haider, ET Bureau, 15 March 2023
Value apparel brands are set to grow in India.
The success of Tata Group’s Zudio that sells clothes below Rs 1,500 has prompted Reliance, Shoppers Stop and several global brands to enter the mass-priced retailing segment.
While Reliance Retail is planning to launch a value apparel format, likely to be named ‘Youth’ to compete directly with Tata’s Zudio and Landmark group-owned Max, Shoppers Stop is coming up with a mass-priced brand, internally called InTune, people in the know said.
Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail has been eyeing shoppers in tier-2 and -3 cities with Style Up, a similar format, while affordable French brand Kiabi is in talks with retail space providers and potential partners to enter the India market.
“Although there is a significant concentration of demand in the metro cities and tier-1 cities, these are also hypercompetitive markets. With economic growth spreading into the smaller cities and rising aspirations, especially among young consumers, there is an opportunity for brands to expand into these markets,” said Devangshu Dutta, founder of retail consulting firm Third Eyesight.
“However, keeping price-sensitive segments in mind, companies are creating new labels and brands, rather than pulling down their existing brands’ selling price,” Dutta said.
Trent, the Tata Group company that houses retail brands such as Westside, Zudio and Landmark, had earlier said that while Westside accounted for 70% of its standalone business, Zudio had the potential to outpace the department chain due to the size of the opportunity in the value segment.
“While the value format can offer growth in smaller cities, in metro cities the retailers are trying to target youth through this format. The youth is also aware of the sustainability part and most of these brands are focusing on it,” said Shriram PM Monga, who cofounded retail consultancy firm SRED.
Both Reliance and Shoppers Stop are looking for 6,000-9,000 sq ft space at malls and high street for their new brands, said a person familiar with the development.
Experts said India’s consumption structure was skewed in the past over a narrow base of rich consumers accounting for a large chunk of the market. However, as the economy is broadening across many more cities and the impact is reaching further down the income ladder, the opportunity for value formats and value brands is expanding.
For Lifestyle International, its value brands Max and Easy Buy have already outpaced the department stores by sales, indicating that consumers are increasingly seeking either lower-priced merchandise or opting for global brands such as Zara and H&M for fashion apparel instead of department stores.
(Published in The Economic Times)