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The Retail Brouhaha

With H&M and Uniqlo postponing their first India store openings, After Hrs gauges the impact it will have on the fashion retail business.

Blame it on the erratic foreign exchange on account of the dwindling rupee, H&M and Uniqlo have deferred their arrival to India by 2016. Also, all eyes are set on the upcoming elections which will majorly impact the retail scenario. After Hrs debates if this has a hidden message for our home grown designers…

No government recognition

“In a way it’s a good thing for the country. Even though I have been part of the process of getting most of the brands to India, I would say that we as a country have not developed our own luxury brands and nurtured our own aesthetic. It’s good in one way that we are opening to the world. However, the government does not recognise fashion as an industry. It does recognise clothing but not fashion. This mistake not only affects fashion but other allied industries like home décor etc which fall under the luxury bracket,” says Puneet Nanda of Satya Paul.

Survival of the chicest

“Honestly retail has been impacted and people are sitting tight, wary of investing and awaiting the elections. Unfortunately the NRIs haven’t come to shop either. Even though the government has let go of many FDI laws, it has failed to inspire the fashion industry. Once the international retailers and brands come in only the most creative fashion designers will survive. Those who rely on copies and inspiration will be hit the most,” says Aparna Badlani of Atosa.

Be cautious but be there

“Michael Kors, Emilio Pucci and Missoni have just entered. I feel brands which are hesitant should enter otherwise they’d lose momentum. One needs to understand that India is not China and it’s a slow and steady market and has many nuances. H&M is High Street and we shouldn’t compare it to Indian designer brands. My advice would be — be slow and cautious but do be in India right now,” says Sujata Assomull Sippy, fashion columnist.

Time to resurrect

“I am happy H&M’s entry got postponed because it is a competitor to Stylista. Three months ago you blindly transacted from ASOS and today the transaction value has gone up. Now it’s time for the Indian brands to resurrect themselves and become more viable.

It’s time for the homegrown brands like AND and Hidesign to focus on the design aspect because that often takes a backseat.

The rupee dollar conversion will never go back to Rs49. Most international brands actually source and manufacture from India.

One has to be sensible as e-commerce is growing and rentals are not going to come down. Indian designers need to create a niche and perfect their products. People have now started questioning designer garments priced at Rs30,000,” says Anjana Sharma, COO & Fashion Director at Stylista.com.

Via : dnaindia.com

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