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Jun, 04 2015

‘Fusion’ in women’s wear retail is selling like hot cakes

From Ted Baker to Michael Kors to CK to Vero Moda, Floral range is ruling the roost this season. It is a known reality that women's wear is a much more complicated category as compared to men's or kids wear. Cuts, colours & designs is what women's wear ma

Women's wear has always been hot on the retail windows. It comprises of both ethnic and western and now a mix of both- Fusion. As per business consultancy services, RNCOS, The growing fashion consciousness, and influence of media and western culture have turned women's western wear segment into a lucrative and highly evolving market. In India, the apparel industry is highly fragmented and competitive. Due to rapid urbanisation and higher disposable incomes, the 'price sensitive' Indian consumers are now more brand-conscious. The women's western wear market will surge at a CAGR of around 10% during 2012-2015. As far as the ethnic side is concerned, as per Fashion United, Retail consultancy firm Wazir Advisors estimates women's ethnic wear market to expand by 14% to

Rs 1.75 lakh crore in 2018. The most accepted element in the women wear fusion fashion is long and short Kurti with leggings, salwars, and Patiala. This fusion combination has widely gained popularity in the past few years among all age groups in women. The shift from traditional ethnic wear to Indo-western is increasingly becoming the order of the day. Newer fabrics, silhouettes and draping styles are doing their rounds in the fashion circuit.”

BIBA totally believes in innovation in fashion and that too affordable fashion. It's MD, Siddharth Bindra says: “Women's wear fashion has always been fast changing. Fashion changes according to seasons. Like this time for summers BIBA is ready with layering patterns. Lots of straights pants and Indo western look is in.” Asheeta Chhabra, Director, Chhabra Triple Five Fashions Pvt Ltd comments: “At Chhabra 555, we have taken out an entire range of these pre-stitched lehenga sarees with various designs and motifs. Ethnic and stone-studded belts are being worn over sarees to give a fusion look. Stoles and scarves have come to replace the dupatta in many Indian garments.”

Journey from traditional to fusion

Most brands started with traditional attires for women and then shifted focus to fusion wear including long skirts, kurti's with stoles etc. Commenting on the same, Akhil Jain, Creative Director, MADAME says: “Our brand has been from the very beginning concentrating on the women's western apparels. So, we are happy that the trend is fast changing and consistently towards what we present and market.” The women's wear market is one of the largest markets in India. The changing custom from traditional to fusion is the need of the hour. Launched in 2008, only women wear niche brand, TRENDY DIVVA is also experimenting a lot with women fashion. It's Founder and MD, Gurprit Sawhney, says: “The largest share in women wear's market today is western wear which contributes 40% to it. The market share of fusion and traditional wear is 30% each but the share of traditional wear is declining with every passing day.”

On the changing trend Sawhney further says: “As our country is developing day by day and people are travelling more, they are becoming more aware about the changing trends and international styles. Indian women are becoming fashion forward and are soon trying to meet the international standards. The change of trend is definitely for good.”

Avenues for franchisees

The brands have lots to offer to the franchisees and investors who wish to start a women's wear business in any city. MADAME is open to franchising and adds close to 8 to 10 franchisees every year in its network. Currently, the brand has 120 stores out of which 65% are franchisee-run. TRENDY DIVVA is versatile in terms of investments and size of the store. It has 15 stores out of which five are franchisee run. The brand is open to various business models and formats for the investors and welcomes both small and large business models. BIBA products are available through 172 stores in 65 cities, apart from presence in all the major retail chains in the country like Shopper's Stop, Lifestyle, Pantaloons and Central. BIBA is offering franchise opportunities for it's another brand Rangriti. BIBA has only 10-15% of its stores via franchise route. On franchising Bindra comments: “We are open to franchising more for our brand Rangriti. If we open franchise stores for BIBA that will be for an exceptional location after understanding all the conditions.”

Chhabra 555 currently has 45 stores out of which 41 are franchisee-run. The brand is looking for master partners with entrepreneurial spirit, strong motivation to grow and earn money, willingness to invest and create a strong goodwill, along with commitment and customer-oriented thinking. Asheeta Chhabra says: “The franchisor-franchisee relationship is marked by two significant financial transactions. One is the payment of the franchise fee, which many franchisors charge in lieu of letting the franchisee use the brand name and the business model. The other is the margin payment which franchisee is liable to make at regular intervals and which is calculated as a percentage of sales. However, many franchisors are now shying away from charging franchise fee in order to reduce the initial financial burden on the franchisee. But we, at Chhabra 555, see our move of not charging royalty fee as a business decision. At the inception of any business, it is imperative to decide which costs the company wants to bear and which costs it wants to charge. In our company, we are tilted towards the former way of working.”

Foraying into other segments

Now, most brands in women's wear sector have equipped their stores with much more than just apparel. Brands are adorning their stores with scarves, stoles, matching belts, wallets, eye wear and other style gears. In terms of having more categories, BIBA does not have any immediate plans of further categorisation. As of now, it plans to focus all the energies into their basic Women category and the BIBA girls which cater to young girls and also plans to open 75 more stores by end of this financial year. Launched in 1954, Chhabra 555 already has forayed into women Indian ethnic accessories including scarves, stoles, dupattas, lowers and heavily adorned bridal blouses that are gaining good response and business for the brand.  MADAME also has a huge variety of accessories including handbags, shoes, wallets etc. Their latest foray is in the premium fragrance category. They have recently launched their first perfume named 'Joei'. TRENDY DIVVA also has bags and clutches and is soon planning to add footwear in its product portfolio.



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