Developing Trends in Fashion Retailing in India

Developing Trends in Fashion Retailing in India

R.S. Balakumar
Associate Professor
Dept of Fashion Design & Arts
Hindustan University, Chennai, India


The fashion and clothing industry is tremendously significant for the textiles industry as it plays a fundamental role in the economy and social comfort in various regions of the world. Thus fashion retailing is a note worthy factor of the broad study of textiles and hence an important area to be necessary.

India is cautious with a highly-lucrative retail market and has the largest number of retail outlets in the world (15 million outlets). Its GDP is the tenth largest in the world and it has a very huge, young people with an average age twenty five. Who appreciate shopping? Of course, there are a large number of retail outlets, but much of the retail sector is split and formless; only about 6% of retail in India.

Fashion Retailing in India

Designated as ‘organized’ retail in the mid-2000s. Even so, the entering of foreign retailers has meant the organized retail sector is appreciating significant growth; in specific, the mall sector is very popular in India and though to date, organized retail structure has only firmly established in the top-tier cities, organized retail is estimate to grow to around 20% of the total market by recent time. Foreign retailers with fashion retailing company in India include Next, Zara, Levis and there are also a number of strong domestic retail multiples such as Pantaloons and Fab India. The segment remains comprehensively regulated by the Indian government and there are strong protectionist measures, although deregulation is taking place slowly.

Department stores and variety store formats tend to be controlled by domestic retailers in India with foreign fashion retailers attention towards the specialist stand-alone multiples, many of which are located in the modern shopping malls. Definitely, modern fashion retailing in India is branded by the development of huge, sprawling malls and shopping complexes incorporating entertainment and social spaces.

Fashion retailing in India has grown over the years, with such kinds as apparel, footwear, accessories, and handbags witnessing prominent growth. The changing economy, demographics, and psychographics are the foundation cause for this tendency. Indian customers today are more progressed as a result of superior experience, and have wider desires as compared to consumers a decade ago.

Most of India’s residents lie between 15-60 years, with the median age being just 26. This forms the core consuming population. Further, with more double-income households, there is now a higher one-use income available for flexible expenses. With an increasing number of women connection the workforce there has been a outstanding increase in the demand, usage, and spending on such categories as apparel, footwear, fashion accessories, handbags, and personal care. It is estimated that there will be 40-50 million working women in the age group of 20-40 years, by the few years before 1916.

In India, this is expected to energy the further progression of fashion retailing in India.

Within fashion retail, apparel is one of the strongest classifications. The internal apparel market in India has shown a positive growth trend in the past few years, and  also be appraised to grow at a rate from basic need-based concept.

The growth of this fragment is mainly focused by the change in customer demand, which has moved from basic need-based purchases to occasion-specific purchases. Many  fashion oriented as well as innovative types have been additional to customers wardrobes today, including sports/gym wear, loungewear, occasion-specific ethnic wear, nightwear, party wear, formal wear, etc. Accordingly, the overall consumption, and average spending, has increased melodramatically.

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It is worth noting that corporatized retail, which only makes up 8% of the retail sector, accounts for 19% of apparel retail. This support is expected to surge to an estimated 40%, over the subsequent six to seven years. This is usually due to the increasing importance being given to approach ability by customers due to severe time-paucity.

They therefore prefer all-under-one-roof formats like malls, multi-brand outlets, lifestyle stores, and even such replacement channels as online retail, transportable commerce, mobile marketing and also the direct selling.

This recent trend has boosted the development of corporatized retail inside the apparel segment. Also, alternating shopping channels are not compressed by direct real estate expenditures and other related challenges, and are progressively being desired by retailers as well.

In the past few years, a huge number of international brands have set up shop in India. They are mostly concentrated on western wear, among other fashion classifications are mentioned here under:

  • Intimate dress,
  • Brassieres,
  • Lingerie,
  • Camisole set.
  • Night gown and
  • Sleeping suit

These also are led to the added improvement of fashion retail within the organized sector. Newer formats, larger stores, globally-relevant products, and visual merchandise and have made an appearance across urban India, acknowledgments to the venture by international brands.

indian young generation like shopping
Fig: Indian young generation like shopping

Conversely, in the awaken of the global economic ambiguity, customers, especially youth, evaluate their purchases on various factors apart from merely product fit and price. They seek value through such characteristics as convenience of shopping, product quality, pack size, width of assortment, experience of shopping, etc.

This trend is principal in Tier I and Tier II cities. As a result, brands in the fast fashion and massive segments that offer additional value to the buyers are accepted better, and grow at a faster pace. In the past few years, there are various brands that have forayed into these segments in order to expand their retail presence in India.

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To capitalize from these value-seeking consumers, most Indian retailers have launched, and are violently promoting, their private labels at smart prices. An increase in the getting of these private labels has been observed as they offer low prices, good styling, fashion quotient, and decent quality. Some of these private labels have done extremely well in India, to the extent that they now boast their own stand-alone stores.

International lifestyle apparel brands which are present-day in India usually offer a complete fashion range, i.e.

  • Accessories,
  • Footwear, and
  • Handbags
  • Apparel (very few collections)

They have anxious on the concept of the complete look. Both men and women consumers are accepting this new trend of combining fashion accessories with their clothing. Traditionally, Indian women were the only customers for accessories, but this is gradually shifting. As there is large availability of products available for men, e.g.

  • Tie,
  • Footwear,
  • Wallets,
  • Laptop bags,
  • Ipad covers,
  • Cufflinks,
  • Eyewear, etc.

As a result, they are also testing with their overall look. There is thus an opening for retailers to expand their product portfolios beyond apparel.

Although the industry has registered positive growth, there are various challenges faced by fashion retailers in India. The Indian fashion retail industry is also unfavorably affected by poor infrastructure circumstances, such as roads, highways, and especially power supply.

The opposing condition of highways leads to additional merchandise carrying and holding time, and, in return, an increase in functioning cost. The important power shortage in major manufacturing hubs sections production time and operational costs beyond estimates.

To reward, most factories work on diesel-enabled generators, which is a further expenditure. Retailers need to emphasis on these, as well as other issues like high real estate costs and lack of skillful manpower in order to become money-making.

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As consumption patterns change across India, it is tremendously important to maintain the right portfolio through right product sourcing, at the right price and right time. Due to high real estate costs, there is usually limited space available at stores, leading to experiments of stocking and higher markdown costs arising from superfluous inventory. Retailers need to adopt a cautious strategy whereby they stock only appropriate levels.

This can be done by implementing an optimum supply chain and sourcing strategy. By integrating information technology systems across stores, warehouses, and corporate offices, retailers can repeatedly monitor stock levels and also understand the suitability of the entire range of merchandise. This will assist in retaining optimum inventory levels, of only the required merchandise.

Additional, the talent shortage within this segment is severe. This is fundamentally due to the inadequate number of training institutes for such courses as retail management, fashion merchandising, and supply chain management. The lack of trained staff at the front end leads to poor brand sales and limited image structure.

As the Indian economy develops, the fashion retail industry is also estimated to grow. Customers will continue to progress and demand originality, value, and experience in fashion. It is thus expected that retailers reexamine their operations and change in tandem with the progressing customers.

It is important to work towards reducing product improvement time and enlightening supply chain, sourcing, and merchandising strategies to control this chance. Retailers and manufacturers must work in synchronization in order to construct effective strategies that will be mutually beneficial.

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