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Hidesign expands retail footprint with new store in Goa

Esteemed premium accessories brand, Hidesign has expanded its retail footprint with the inauguration of a new brick-and-mortar establishment in Goa.

Strategically positioned in Margao, the state's bustling commercial hub, the store offers an exquisite array of handbags and bags catering to both men and women.

The store boasts a two-story layout adorned with a pristine white façade embellished with gold lettering, mirroring the brand's sophisticated aesthetic. The interior maintains a luminous and expansive ambiance, echoing the brand's signature color scheme. Prominently showcased within the store is Hidesign's coveted 'Rebels' collection, alongside an assortment of designs suitable for various occasions including parties, office settings, and travel.

The unveiling of the Margao store comes on the heels of Hidesign's recent expansions, including the inauguration of outlets in Coimbatore and Bengaluru towards the end of 2023. Moreover, the brand marked its presence in several cities including Ranchi, Vijayawada, Chennai, Pune, Kochi, and Mohali last autumn, reaffirming its commitment to establishing over 100 exclusive brand outlets across India in the near future.

Founded by entrepreneur Dilip Kapur in 1978 as a premium accessories brand in Pondicherry, Hidesign has evolved into a global entity, with its products gracing markets in 23 countries spanning the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Nepal, Portugal, Kenya, the UAE, and beyond. With over 90 exclusive brand outlets worldwide, Hidesign continues to epitomise craftsmanship and luxury, captivating discerning customers around the globe.

Hidesign expands retail footprint with new store in Goa

India’s retail sector to reach $2 trillion by 2034: Report

On the brink of a transformative journey, the Indian retail sector poised to emerge as a global powerhouse indicates a recent report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Retailers Association of India (RAI). With a projected $2 trillion potential, the sector is primed to make a significant impact on the global stage.

Titled ‘Unleashing the $2 Trillion retail potential over the next decade: An assertive agenda,’ the report unveiled at the RAI Retail Leadership Summit underscores the lucrative prospects awaiting in the Indian market.

According to it, luxury fashion brands are being increasingly drawn to India's burgeoning market, with names like Gucci, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton opening their doors in Mumbai's Jio World Plaza Mall. This expansion extends beyond fashion to other segments like jewelry, highlighting the diverse opportunities available. The conducive economic climate, combined with high EBIDTA margins, entices luxury brands to establish or expand their presence in India.

Market penetration and consumer sentiment are key drivers shaping India's retail landscape. Sectors such as jewelry and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) are poised for rapid growth due to their low current penetration rates. Emphasisng on the impact of electoral cycles on consumer behavior, Bharat Mimani, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group, anticipates a potential uptick in consumption post-election. His outlook underscores the dynamic nature of the Indian retail market, offering significant opportunities for domestic and international players alike.

The future of India's retail sector is both challenging and promising, states the report. A deep understanding of market dynamics, consumer preferences, and strategic penetration levels is vital for brands aiming to thrive in this competitive landscape, it adds. The collaboration between global luxury brands and the vibrancy of the Indian market heralds a new era in retail, promising to reshape consumer experiences and business models alike.

India’s retail sector to reach $2 trillion by 2034: Report

Ajio makes big strides in Q4 FY24 with 1.6 mn new customers and strategic growth initiatives

Reliance Retail's e-commerce platform, Ajio, has reported impressive growth in the fourth quarter of FY24, adding a significant 1.6 million new customers to its platform. This surge highlights Ajio's growing popularity and its commitment to providing a superior customer experience. This impressive achievement can be attributed to several key factors.
Interestingly, Indian e-commerce market is predicted to reach $111 billion by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 21.5 per cent from2023-24. While Ajio competes with giants like Flipkart-owned Myntra, it has carved out a significant niche. Ajio is strategically positioned to capitalize on this growth trend, with its current market share in the fashion e-commerce segment estimated at around 30 per cent.
Tailored customer drive engagement
Ajio prioritizes a seamless shopping experience by offering various customer journeys catering to individual preferences. Initiatives like Ajio Luxe and the Exclusive D2C Brand store Ajiogram cater to diverse buying and browsing behaviors, ensuring a personalized experience for each user. This approach is crucial in today's competitive e-commerce landscape, where customer experience is paramount. This data-driven approach ensures a personalized experience that resonates with a wider audience.
Fostering the D2C ecosystem
Recognizing the potential of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands, Ajio announced plans to support the growth of 100 fashion D2C startups and onboard 200 exclusive Indian fashion and lifestyle D2C brands onto its platform Ajiogram in the coming year. This strategic move not only strengthens Ajio's product portfolio but also empowers emerging brands to reach a wider audience, fostering a dynamic and competitive e-commerce landscape.
Flagship events attract customers
Ajio's success is also fuelled by strategic marketing initiatives like the Big Bold Sale (BBS). During BBS, customers from over 19,000 pin codes across the country participated, showcasing the platform's extensive reach and ability to attract customers from both metros and non-metros. Notably, over 51 per cent of Ajio's orders originate from non-metro cities like Mysore, Ghaziabad, Karnal, Surat, and Bhubaneswar, indicating the growing popularity of online shopping for premium brands in smaller towns and cities.
Meeting evolving customer demands
Ajio strategically adapts its offerings to cater to evolving customer demands. The platform witnessed a surge in demand for western wear, footwear (particularly sneakers), and ethnic wear during the festive season. To meet this growing demand, Ajio's curated sneaker store, Sneakerhood, expanded its selection by 200 per cent year-on-year, demonstrating the platform's agility and responsiveness to market trends.
Empowering D2C brands
In Q3 FY2024, Ajio launched a unique content-driven interactive platform specifically designed for D2C brands. This platform empowers homegrown brands to showcase their vision, innovative products, and challenge the status quo within the fashion industry. This initiative fosters a dynamic and competitive e-commerce landscape, benefiting both consumers and brands.

Ajio's comprehensive strategy, combining a customer-centric approach, strategic partnerships, and a commitment to innovation, has solidified its position as a leading player in India's e-commerce landscape. The platform is demonstrably driving growth and shaping the future of the fashion retail sector in the country. By understanding and catering to the evolving needs of its customers, Ajio is well-positioned for continued success in the years to come.

Ajio makes big strides in Q4 FY24 with 1.6 mn new customers and strategic growth initiatives

Khadim India pursues demerger of distribution business

A leading footwear company, Khadim India is strategically pursuing the demerger of its distribution business, aiming to unlock significant value for its core retail operations.

Indrajit Chaudhuri, Chief Financial Officer, says, with approvals from stock exchanges and the NCLT pending, the demerger is expected to complete by September this year.

The demerger entails segregating the distribution business and manufacturing activities into KSR Footwear (KFL), to enhance market focus and operational efficiency. The move is expected improve Khadim India’s EBITDA margins by 100-200 basis points in the first full year of operation in FY’25-26.

Currently, Khadim's retail business contributes about 67 per cent of its total revenue through approximately 848 stores nationwide. Currently valued at Rs 500 crore, the retail segment is expected to surpass Rs 600 crore by 2025-26, opines Chaudhuri,

Constituting 33 per cent of the total turnover, the distribution business faces challenges due to the GST hike on footwear below MRP of Rs 1,000 since January 2022. With a network of 732 distributors serving lower and middle-income consumers across Tier I to Tier III cities, this segment specialises in providing affordable footwear, with 96 per cent of its products manufactured in-house.

The demerger is expected to enable each business to address its priorities effectively. With distinct focuses, Khadim India believes that separating the entities will allow for better alignment with their respective market dynamics and consumer demands.

Khadim India pursues demerger of distribution business

V2 Retail to expand with 25 new stores within four months

A prominent value retail brand in India, V2 Retail, is set to embark on an ambitious expansion plan, aiming to open 20-25 company-owned and operated (COCO) stores within the next four months. As explained by Akash Agarwal, Director, this strategic move is designed to capitalise on economies of scale while reinforcing the brand's presence in key markets and bolstering operational efficiency.

To facilitate this expansion, the company has allocated Rs 30 crore for store expansion and an additional Rs 30 crore for inventory. Despite the aggressive offline growth strategy, profitability remains a core focus for V2 Retail, with a target of achieving an EBITDA of Rs 100 crore in the upcoming fiscal year.

In its third-quarter report for December 2023, the company disclosed a robust performance, with EBITDA reaching Rs 60.9 crore, marking a significant Y-o-Y growth of 60 per cent. Consolidated revenue surged by 56 per cent to Rs 373.8 crore, though gross margins experienced a slight decline to 31.4 per cent compared to the previous year.

V2 Retail is strategically positioning itself to cater to the neo-middle-class segment in Tier II and Tier III cities, leveraging a cluster-based approach for expansion, particularly in northern and eastern India. The firm plans to embrace an omnichannel strategy to reach a wider consumer base and enhance operational efficiency through warehouse automation.

In line with its growth trajectory, V2 Retail aims to transition towards complete in-house product design, with Agarwal highlighting a current focus on expanding the assortment of value-driven offerings while reducing average selling prices. The company also eyes a shift towards becoming a 100 per cent private label brand, aiming to increase manufacturing capabilities across its three units in Noida and Muzaffarpur.

Menswear presently dominates sales, with kidswear following closely behind, while women's wear is poised for increased traction in the future. Despite challenges associated with low average selling prices in the online realm, V2 Retail is strategically leveraging its online platform to achieve profitable growth while minimising cash burn.

V2 Retail to expand with 25 new stores within four months

Varun Muralidharan to lead retail operations and projects at Snitch

Varun Muralidharan has been appointed as the Head- Retail Operations and Projects at Snitch, a direct-to-consumer menswear brand.

Muralidharan brings with him valuable experience, having previously served as the retail manager at Bestseller India.

Expressing confidence in Murlidharan’s capabilities, Siddarth Dungerwal, Founder Snitch says, with his innovative thinking and customer-centric approach, Muralidharan will promote Snitch’s mission to provide seamless and enjoyable shopping experiences for its customers.

In his new role, Muralidharan will oversee Snitch’s retail operations and store management. He will focus on enhancing the customer experience to ensure satisfaction and loyalty. Having commenced operations in 2020, Snitch gained significant traction after securing an All Shark Deal on Shark Tank India Season 2.

The brand recently completed a successful Series A funding round, raising Rs 110 crore to fuel its growth and expansion plans.

Varun Muralidharan to lead retail operations and projects at Snitch

VIP Industries opens first Caprese outlet in Delhi

Luggage manufacturer VIP Industries has opened the first outlet of its handbag brand Caprese in Delhi’s South Extension.

Spanning 300 sq ft, the new store will showcase a range of handbags and accessories for women. Caprese also offers wallets, purses, and other accessories.
It will serve as a dynamic launchpad for showcasing the company’s innovative designs and expanding its presence in the thriving Delhi market, says Neetu Kashiramka, Managing Director, VIP Industries.

VIP Industries recently launched its exclusive Cartlon store at Mumbai airport, Headquartered in Mumbai, the company manufactures luggage and travel accessories. It has more than 10,000 points of sale (POS) with a network of retailers in 45 countries.

The company began its journey in 1971. To date, VIP Industries Ltd. has sold over 100 million pieces of luggage to travellers around the world. Its products are available across the Middle East, the UK, and select African and Southeast Asian countries.

The brand portfolio includes brands like VIP, Skybags, Carlton, Aristocrat, and Caprese.

VIP Industries opens first Caprese outlet in Delhi

Reliance negotiates with Primark to launch brand in India

A prominent player in India's retail landscape, Reliance is engaging in preliminary discussions with Primark to introduce the brand to the Indian market. This potential collaboration would position Reliance against competitors such as Tata's Zudio, Max from the Landmark Group, and InTune from Shoppers Stop.

Primark's distinct format, favoring high street locations over malls, sets it apart from other global retailers. With a goal to expand its footprint to 530 outlets by 2026, Primark eyes both new and existing markets for growth opportunities.

Reliance, boasting a vast retail network encompassing supermarkets, electronics, jewelry, and apparel outlets, holds a significant advantage in providing operational and real estate synergies to Primark's entry into India.

Devangshu Dutta, Founder, Third Eyesight, emphasises India's allure as a growth market for global brands like Primark. However, success hinges on effectively catering to the diverse needs of Indian consumers nationwide, necessitating astute merchandising and marketing strategies, he adds.

India's evolving consumption patterns, once skewed towards affluent consumers, now present an expanding opportunity for value-centric brands. Reliance's existing ventures in the lower-priced segment, including Trends and the recently launched Yousta, position it favorably to compete with fast-fashion giants like Zara and H&M in India's burgeoning market.


Reliance negotiates with Primark to launch brand in India

India, a prominent market for Ikea for future investments: Jesper Brodin, CEO

India holds a prominent place in Ikea's investment strategy, says Jesper Brodin, Global CEO, Ingka Group. expressing admiration for the country's rapid development in both digital and physical infrastructure. He emphasised India's leadership in economic growth and its optimistic outlook.
The furniture giant, sourcing from India since the 1980s, has invested significantly in the country. With approval for a substantial investment proposal, Ikea aims to open 25 stores by 2025. Presently, it operates three large format stores and two smaller city outlets, with plans for expansion in the National Capital Region and online operations in major cities.
India's furniture market, valued at $32 billion, is expected to reach $38 billion by 2026, driven by growing demand from the middle-class segment and infrastructure development.
Brodin sees India as Ikea's primary expansion focus, aligning with the company's vision to cater to diverse needs at affordable prices. By reducing costs and global product prices, Ikea aims to stimulate sales volumes.
Despite being the world's fifth-largest producer and fourth-largest consumer of furniture, India's per-capita furniture consumption remains low, indicating substantial growth potential. While standalone stores and local carpenters dominate the market, ecommerce players like Flipkart and Amazon have entered the fray.
Ikea is collaborating with the Indian government to establish quality standards, ensuring safer and standardized products. This initiative supports India's aspiration to achieve a $2 trillion export target while providing consumers with reliable goods.
As the largest global franchisee of Ikea, Ingka Group accounts for the majority of its sales. Ikea's entry into India has been successful, surpassing local competitors in its first year of operations. In 2023, it recorded substantial sales growth, though net losses widened due to infrastructure investments.
To benefit from economies of scale, Ikea aims to establish 8-10 stores in India. Brodin highlights the importance of reaching major cities to serve India's vast population, reflecting positively on the country's economic prospects.
Thus, Ikea views India as a crucial market for expansion, driven by its economic growth, evolving consumer preferences, and the company's commitment to affordability and quality.

India, a prominent market for Ikea for future investments: Jesper Brodin, CEO

Retail's third-party trend, growth driver or challenge, Indian perspective

The increasing reliance on third-party players in Indian retail industry is a double-edged sword, presenting both growth opportunities and challenges. The Indian retail market is undergoing rapid digitization, with e-commerce expected to reach $350 billion by 2026. This presents a significant opportunity for third-party platforms and the retailers who partner with them.
What’s driving the trend?
The market is being driven by many factors. One major growth driver is wider reach and market access. Third-party platforms like Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, and Snapdeal offer retailers access to a vast customer base across India, especially in Tier II and III cities, where physical presence might be limited. This expands reach and drives sales growth. It is especially beneficial for small players who wouldn't have the resources for nationwide expansion on their own.
Also, these platforms have established logistics networks and delivery infrastructure, allowing retailers to tap into efficient and cost-effective delivery solutions, improving customer satisfaction and reducing delivery hassles. Moreover, these platforms offer marketing tools, data analytics, and promotional opportunities, helping retailers reach target audiences and optimize campaigns, leading to increased brand awareness and customer acquisition. In fact, third-party platforms are constantly innovating and investing in cutting-edge technologies like AI, machine learning, and big data analytics. These advancements can help retailers personalize customer experiences, optimize pricing, and improve supply chain efficiency.
Outsourcing warehousing, fulfilment, and delivery to third parties can free up resources for retailers to focus on core competencies like product development and marketing, potentially reducing operational costs. By leveraging third-party fulfilment centers and inventory management systems, retailers can reduce inventory holding costs and improve cash flow. This is crucial in a market like India, where access to working capital can be a significant challenge.
Logistics, infrastructure still a challenge
While the segment does hold a lot of promise, challenges like fragmented logistics infrastructure, limited internet penetration, and varying consumer preferences across regions need to be addressed for widespread adoption. Indian regulations on data privacy and foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce are evolving, requiring retailers and platforms to adapt and comply.
On major concern is when relying on third-party platforms, retailers relinquish some control over pricing, promotions, and customer interactions. This can dilute brand identity and make it difficult to stand out in a crowded marketplace. The presence of numerous sellers on these platforms creates intense competition, often leading to price wars and reduced profit margins for retailers.
There are concerns about data sharing and privacy also as sharing customer data with third-party platforms raises concerns about privacy and security. Retailers need to ensure they have robust data protection measures in place and transparent communication with customers about data usage. Valuable customer data generated on these platforms might not be readily accessible to retailers, hindering their ability to personalize marketing and build long-term customer relationships.
Third-party platforms charge commission fees on every sale, which can eat into retailer margins, especially for smaller businesses. Additionally, platform policies and algorithms can sometimes favor larger players, making it difficult for smaller retailers to compete effectively. Retailers are at the mercy of the performance and reputation of the third-party platforms they use. Delivery delays, customer service issues, or platform outages can negatively impact a retailer's brand image and sales. Indeed, over-reliance on third-party platforms can make retailers vulnerable to changes in platform policies, fees, and algorithms, impacting their control over brand identity and customer relationships.
Then there is the whole issue of inventory management and visibility. Coordinating inventory across multiple platforms and physical stores can be complex, leading to stockouts and inaccurate product information, impacting customer experience.
However, the bottomline is India's vast geography and diverse terrain pose logistical challenges, making third-party platforms' expertise valuable. And Indian consumers increasingly value convenience and access to a wide variety of products, making third-party platforms attractive. The third-party trend in Indian retail is a double-edged sword. It presents opportunities for growth, careful consideration of the challenges is crucial for success. Retailers need to develop strategies to leverage the benefits of these platforms while mitigating risks by diversifying their sales channels, building brand identity, and maintaining control over customer data. Striking the right balance will be key to navigating this evolving landscape.

Retail's third-party trend, growth driver or challenge, Indian perspective

Satya Paul unveils latest retail store in Mumbai

Designer label Satya Paul recently unveiled its latest retail endeavor in thePhoenix Palladium Mall in Mumbai.

Spanning approximately 900 sq ft, the new store epitomises the brand's ethos of experimentation and boldness, a tradition upheld since its inception in 1985. With each retail outlet, including this latest addition, Satya Paul reaffirms its commitment to pushing boundaries and fostering innovation in the fashion world.

Marked by sleek black signage, the store’s entrance offers a glimpse into the distinct ambiance awaiting visitors within. Offering a futuristic atmosphere, the store’s interiors blend humility with progressiveness.

Characterised by smooth rounded edges and a soft pink concrete finish, the store's design creates an inviting and expansive setting. Utilising materials like glass and wood, the interior strikes a harmonious balance, allowing the vibrant apparel to take center stage. At the heart of the space stands a circular glass display, inviting guests to engage in a social and immersive browsing experience.

The store's meticulously curated selection showcases an array of accessories, from elegant cufflinks to chic bags, each presented as a precious adornment. Paul's iconic saris share prominence, strategically positioned to accentuate their unique prints and designs. Complementing these offerings are the brand's versatile ready-to-wear and athleisure creations, catering to diverse tastes and lifestyles.

Highlighting the arrival of the latest collection, ‘The Flower Wild,’ the store sets the stage for the vibrant spring-summer season.

The collection unfolds on soft, breathable fabrics adorned with the delicate charm of champas, amaltas, and tuberoses. European roses, steeped in historical symbolism, take center stage, their beauty accentuated by woven ribbons and silk tapes that pay homage to the art of adornment.

Drawing inspiration from Indian miniature drawings, the collection captures the essence of traditional gardens, inviting wearers to embrace timeless elegance. For those seeking garments that prioritise both style and mobility, this collection is a testament to versatility and sophistication.

Satya Paul unveils latest retail store in Mumbai

New Avantra by Trends store inaugurated in Lulu Mall Thiruvananthapuram

Prominent ethnic wear brand, Avantra by Trends has inaugurated a new physical store within the Lulu Mall in Thiruvananthapuram. The store showcases an extensive collection of occasion wear and bridal ensembles, catering to diverse tastes and preferences.

Featuring a wide array of exquisite silk sarees, wedding sarees, handcrafted sarees, etc Avantra offers a comprehensive range to suit every need.

The store itself boasts a striking exterior with a glossy red and gold façade, echoing the opulence found within its interior. Additionally, shoppers are offered tailoring services, allowing them to personalise their chosen outfits to perfection.

Besides Avantra by Trends, the Lulu Mall Thiruvananthpuram houses other esteemed labels such as The Body Shop, Rare Rabbit, and Sunglass Hut.

Notably, Lulu Mall Thiruvananthapuram is a part of the Lulu Group's ventures, which also operates malls across various cities including Kochi and Lucknow, tracing its origins to the UAE. This expansion signifies the group's commitment to offering unparalleled retail experiences across diverse locales.

New Avantra by Trends store inaugurated in Lulu Mall Thiruvananthapuram

Ajio adds 1.6 million customers in Q4 FY’24

E-commerce venture by Reliance Retail, Ajio added 1.6 million customers to its platform in Q4 FY24.

With a network of over 5,000 delivery nodes spanning the country, Ajio prioritises a seamless shopping experience for its users. This involves leveraging various customer journeys tailored to individual preferences, such as Ajio Luxe and the Exclusive D2C Brand store Ajiogram, which are based on buying and browsing behaviors.

Recently, Ajio announced plans to invest in and support the growth of 100 direct-to-customer fashion startups. Additionally, the company aims to onboard 200 exclusive Indian fashion and lifestyle D2C brands onto Ajiogram in the coming year.

Flagship events like the Big Bold Sale (BBS) have been instrumental in Ajio's success. During BBS, customers from over 19,000 PIN codes across the country indulged in exclusive collections from international brands, owned labels, and homegrown brands. Deals and offers spanned across various categories including fashion, lifestyle, home decor, jewelry, beauty, and personal care.

Over 51 per cent of total orders for Ajio originate from non-metros like Mysore, Ghaziabad, Karnal, Surat, and Bhubaneswar. This underscores Ajio's strong foothold in smaller cities and towns where online shopping for top global brands is increasingly popular.

Driven by the wedding season and festivities, the platform observed a surge in demand for western wear, footwear (especially sneakers), and ethnic wear. Its curated sneaker store, Sneakerhood, expanded its selection by 200 per cent Y-oY- to meet the growing demand.

In the third quarter of FY2024, Ajio launched a content-driven interactive platform for D2C brands, offering a unique solution focused on brand building and visibility. This platform empowers homegrown fashion brands to challenge norms and showcase their vision and innovative products.

Overall, Ajio's holistic marketing approach, combined with its focus on customer experience and strategic partnerships, has solidified its position as a leading player in India's e-commerce landscape, driving growth and innovation in the fashion retail sector.

Ajio adds 1.6 million customers in Q4 FY’24

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