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May, 05 2014

‘Access’orize to more revenues!

Jewellery, shoes & bags are undeniably touted as one of the choicest of accessories that every individual loves to adorn. As consumers are becoming more receptive towards creating elegant fashion avowal by wearing stylish accessories with panache, now, th

Fashion accessories market in India is growing by giant strides as many brands across various segments starting from handbags, belts, precious or non-precious jewellery and footwear, are rapidly spreading their footprint across every corner of country. The aspects that have spurred the growth of fashion accessories industry in India is undoubtedly the augment of high purchasing power of middle class income groups, high net worth individuals, impulse buying driven by younger demographics, working class of women, brand awareness catapulted by robust media exposure, internet dissemination acceptance of global trends and the mix –and- match culture has surely boosted the market’s growth.  As the fashion accessories industry is on the rise like never before, so TFW got candid with few of the industry’s leaders to catch the market’s pulse and enlightens the budding franchisees who are looking out to invest into a feasible yet profitable segment of fashion accessories market. Take a look below:

Follow franchise footsteps

A man is known by the shoes he wears. The statement holds true for men and women both. If we go by the market trends, you will see that many top-notch industry leaders have been able to widen their product distribution through franchise operations.  As per industry insiders, it’s been anticipated that footwear market in India is mainly driven by men’s footwear segment and has about 50 % of the total market value. Furthermore, the balance is made up by women’s and children’s footwear. It’s clearly indicated that the industry’s major propellers have been the brand dissemination by all forms of media, celebrity endorsements, intensifying younger working population, and the consumers’ shifting buying keenness for almost every occasion. Enlightening on the same, Gopalakrishnan Sankar, CEO, Reliance Footprint, says: “Footwear is witnessing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15 % and is one of the fastest growing category where the share of organised retail is very high. Footwear is amenable for franchising due to smaller size of stores, less investment of both working capital and capex and a decent margin business. We are already present across 95 cities in 21 states.”

So far, the footwear as an accessory tops the chart. The major big wigs that have conquered the largest market share involve – Liberty Shoes, Woodland, Reliance Footprint, Reebok, Adidas, Foxyeve.com, Aldo - Canadian shoe and accessories brand,  Red Chief, Fila and Alberto Toressi.  Currently, Woodland has about 480 stores evenly spread across India and for this financial year, the brand will be foraying aggressively into the tier II and III markets. Though the company is reluctant to expand via franchising, it strongly believes in maintaining equal standards for its products and services across all stores. Nevertheless, commenting on the preferred retail distribution model, Harkirat Singh, MD, Woodland, happily adds: “For an accessories brand, an exclusive brand store is always feasible because their brand has the complete freedom to display all the products, which in terms gives the customer more options and variance. Plus having an exclusive store means you get the opportunity to create an ambience that speaks about the brand which in turn creates more brand visibility and brand awareness.”

As confirmed by Anupam Bansal, Executive Director of Liberty Shoes Ltd: “Currently, we have about 400 franchise and 100 company–owned stores spread across the country. As far expansion is concerned, we prefer to open our brand's stores in metros and tier II cities. We look forward to add up to 100-200 stores every year across the country. We also look at tapping tier II cities as these cities holds potential of opening around 10-20 stores.”  Alberto Torresi, a venture of Virola Shoes which showcases a phenomenal range of Men’s shoes, is also looking to replicate its business model. Commenting on his plans further and preferred model for expansion, Ishaan Sachdeva, Director, Alberto Torresi, notifies: “With the start of the new financial year, we are looking forward to offer franchise of Alberto Torresi. The opportunity will depend on the geographical locations and consumer preferences as we will focus on immediate start-up of the outlets. In 2014-15, we are working on the growth of our backend. However, in the next financial year (2015-16), we are looking forward to open 15-20 outlets.”

Bejwelled benefits

FICCI and A.T. Kearney report on Indian Jewellery Review 2013 confirms that the gems and jewellery sector is the most important sectors of Indian economy and has also been one of the fastest-growing sectors in the past few years. The domestic gems and jewellery industry had a market size of Rs 251,000 crore in 2013, with a potential to grow to Rs 500,000 – 530,000 crore by 2018. Jewellery industry is divided into precious and non-precious jewellery. In this segment, the brands that are offering glittering prospects to franchisees involves Swarovski, Gitanjali Jewels, Asmi, Maya Jewels,  Nakshatra, D’damas, Orra and Tanishq. Via franchising route, America's leading fashion accessories brand Claire's entered the Indian market through DLF brands. Seeing the internet diffusion, now branded jewellery chains are also hogging the limelight by selling their products online.  Another brand – Swarovski, has grown to be the world’s leading producer of precision-cut crystal for fashion, jewellery and more recently lighting, architecture and interiors. Today, Swarovski is recognised as a family-owned and family run company by 4th and 5th generation family members. Currently, Swarovski sells its products through 34 franchise stores operated by various partners across India. On revealing her expansion plans by picking the franchising route, Sukanya Dutta Roy, MD, Consumer Goods Business, Swarovski India Pvt. Ltd, says: “We are working with select franchise profiles with prior experience in the luxury and premium sector with the international brands. We choose partner on the basis of their sound financial strength and retail reputation. Exclusive boutiques in malls and destination high streets and strong MBO chains work best for a brand like Swarovski. Soon, we are planning to expand our presence in cities like Ludhiana and Mohali and we have an extensive expansion plan of opening 60 stores across pan India by 2015.” Marching ahead, industry experts anticipate a significant role of jewellery industry in boosting the country’s economy and empowering employment opportunities and earning significant foreign exchange through exports and providing high value addition.

Bagging profits

Out of all the categories, casual ladies handbags form the highest share in the total market at 56%, followed by office bags at 27% of the total share. As of now, the handbags industry is majorly dominated by premium brands like DA Milano, BAGGIT, LAVIE, Hidesign, Murcia Handbags, Kara, Carlton London, Caprese by VIP, Giordano, ZARA and Mango.  Murcia is also keen to spread its wings through franchisee channel for exclusive Murcia stores across the country as well as have a strong distribution channel to enter into the tier II and III cities of India. Seeing the potential, Australian high-fashion, accessories and handbags firm Colette has inked 10-year master franchise agreement with Gurgaon-based retail start-up firm Brand Access.

Visual appeal attracts footfall

For running a fashion accessories store, visual appeal of store, mixed merchandising and avant-garde technology is the key to create more customer footfalls. But, maintaining the same standards at franchisee-owned and operated stores is a biggest challenge for a franchisor. Enligtening on how they ensure quality at their franchise store, Gopalakrishnan Sankar, says: “We treat our franchisee stores as an extension of our equity stores. The merchandising management is done by our category team. The entire marketing, promotion calendar and VM guidelines are same across both company and franchise outlets. Whereas, Sukanya Dutta Roy, informs: “Swarovski follows the same global VM and display guidelines across the globe. We have a dedicated VM team in India to implement global guidelines in terms of display material in order to maintain consistency. We also provide extensive training to franchisees and support by personal visits.

Location, location & location

Depending on various aspects, retail destinations for opening brand’s stores keep on varying as per real estate rentals, visibility, competition and accessibility aspects. Some prefer high streets while some look to open their stores at malls and airports. Around 60% of Reliance Footprint stores are located in malls and balance in high streets.  Harkirat Singh, says: “Malls and high streets are the most preferred destinations for us as the number of footfalls is more. About 30% stores are located in various malls and the others are located at high-streets. For a brand like ours, a mall or a store in the most premium location of the city gives us the right placement and position empowers us to tap youth.” While, as per Anupam Bansal: “For us, high streets are the most preferred as real sales happen here the most. In fact, proportion is much higher in high streets than malls.” For Swarovski, premium malls are preferred as it brings a comfortable environment for leisurely shopping.

FASHION JEWELLERY

In 2013, the market size touched INR 7,620 crore and it is expected to grow by 17% in the next 5 years. The industry size is expected to touch Rs.15,000 crore by December 2015, according to an Assocham study. With gold and silver ruling high, changing trends and increasing awareness , the demand for costume & fashion jewelry is growing and is expected to be Rs. 11,000 crore currently.

HANDBAGS

Out of all the categories, casual ladies handbags form the highest share in the total market at 56%, followed by office bags at 27% of the total share.

FOOTWEAR

The overall footwear market in India is estimated to be around 20,000 to 25, 0000 crore.  The overall footwear industry will continue to grow at 15 % in future. The organized part of industry will grow at higher growth rate of 20 %.

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