India’s Retail Reality: Where Sarees Meet Slogan Tees

Kolkata, India- November 14, 2015: Crowd of people near the New Market, Kolkata, india. New Market is an enclosed market located in Lindsay Street. The streets around the New Market are used to be an upscale shopping area
7th June 2017

What comes to mind when you think of India? A large population, fantastic cricket team, favourite food, what about its emerging retail sector?

In May this year KnowGlobal set out on a 23 hour journey in order to explore India’s retail world as it stands today, to provide you with an insight into the competition, price points, fashion trends and gaps within the retail market. During the trip KnowGlobal explored the malls and high streets of Bangalore and had the pleasure of meeting up with India’s biggest marketplace, Flipkart.

Beautiful Marriage of the Western World with Traditional India

The journey between the airport and hotel could be made by Uber or a Tuk Tuk, this is just one example of the beautiful marriage of western and traditional which can be seen throughout India’s lifestyle, retail streets and online shops. Take the high street in busy Bangalore, a sensory overload even for a pair of Londoners, with global brands juxtaposed with traditional shops.
International brands could be found on the high street such as Vera Moda, Jack Jones, Levis and Vans. All of the brand’s price points matching those you would find in the UK, catering to the high street fashion demand which is ever growing. What was interesting was the assortment of fashion also mostly matched that which is available in the UK too, showing the acceptance of a more westernised way of life, the only thing which was slightly different was the abundance of slogan t-shirts available to purchase.
MG1 is one of the largest shopping malls in Bangalore and maintains many similarities to any UK mall. Marks & Spencer’s, H&M, MAC, and HiDesign proudly stand alongside the plush food court and terrace bars, making UK visitors feel at home. These international brands are reaping the rewards of the booming India market despite sitting at a higher price point than home-grown Indian brands, perhaps due to the increase in middle class households.
Often comparatively cheaper than their global competitors, India’s fashion brands have emerged more frequently however still mirroring western rivals in terms of style. With a population of 1.3 billion India’s potential market is enormous, home-brands offering a similar style to global brands allows international fashion to become more accessible through a lower price point than imported competition.

Booming Pockets of the Ever-Increasing Middle Class

Throughout India the gap between working class and the wealthy is being filled by the ever growing middle class, who are now more fashion and brand conscious than ever before. This increase in upper-working and middle class is being created by an increase in disposable cash available. The Times of India thanks changes to GST for this growing increase in cash, stating that an average middle class household will see yearly consumable costs reduce by 2.6% (2017).
The cosmopolitan outlook of younger generations has caused an increase in demand for western-style fashion brands, so much so that Myntra (India’s number 1 e-commerce platform specifically for fashion) bought out its own private label ‘Roadster’ which fans of global brand Superdry might find particularly similar in brand design.

What are you waiting for?

India looks set to hold onto its traditional culture, clothing and way of life but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for westernised ways too. With disposable cash on the rise and more technology becoming readily available. Cosmopolitan Indians are always on the lookout for western brands and styles, the e-commerce market in India is set to see record levels of growth and market entry now for UK brands would gain a brand presence and identity within this incredibly prosperous Country, whether that is done by localisation of your own website or launching products on popular marketplaces to test the waters.
To find out more about how you could be reaping the rewards of the world's fastest growing e-commerce market, speak to the KnowGlobal team today.