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In Pictures: Marni launches accessories concept

Luxury fashion label Marni has launched a new retail concept focusing on accessories, to boost its bags, shoes, eyewear and jewellery collections, which currently account for more than 40 percent of its annual turnover.

In Pictures: Marni launches accessories concept

To highlight its accessories, Marni has unveil four new retail concepts in Rome, Paris, Madrid and Shanghai within key department stores that focus exclusively on leather goods, eyewear and jewellery, as well as its bags, which have reported an increase in sales of more than 50 percent since 2016.

In Pictures: Marni launches accessories concept

In Rome, Marni accessories are located at the ground floor of the just inaugurated La Rinascente Tritone store, while in Paris the concession is within Printemps Louvre, and in Madrid, Marni has opens its accessories area in the El Corte Inglés Castellana. In addition, Marni has opened in the Grand Gateway 66 mall at the centre of the dynamic Xujiahui commercial district in Shanghai.

In Pictures: Marni launches accessories concept

All the concessions reflect the Marni retail concept, which plays around with “linear geometry, sophisticated marble inlaid flooring and witty handling of delicate colours that contrast with bolder hues” said the brand in a press statement.

Images: courtesy of Marni

Myntra is looking to tweak its primary business model. The Flipkart-owned fashion e-tailer has been focusing on a marketplace as opposed to its current strategy of being an inventory-led business. It has sent out communications to third-party merchants, asking them to sell on its platform. In an inventory-led model an e-commerce company buys stock in advance prior to selling it to customers, while in a marketplace model the online retail platform connects customers to third-party sellers which becomes less capital-intensive. Myntra’s inclination to push for a marketplace model comes at a time when the company’s top focus has been on clocking profitability.

Myntra’s parent firm Flipkart runs largely on a marketplace model even though it has select alpha sellers. Myntra has been relying on a controlled inventory model, working closely with big merchants like Vector E-commerce and Tech Connect Retail, among others. Myntra and parent Flipkart together held 60 per cent share of the online fashion and lifestyle market in the country.

With over 2,000 fashion brands Myntra hopes to become profitable by the financial year 2018. For customers Myntra is leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning for a personalised shopping experience, better product discovery and assisted buying. The company is targeting strong growth in new segments such as home furnishing.

Reliance Industries is looking at co-branding its specialty fabrics RElan with apparel brands. The categories include: denim, ethnic wear, formal wear, women’s wear. Reliance had introduced RElan in October in Bangalore. In the North, RIL is targeting 200 textile manufacturers, who can make RElan fabrics. Under the HEP (Hub Excellence Program) Reliance is also forging partnerships with textile manufacturers to provide technology to manufacture high performance fabrics. It has entered into a partnership with the US-based VF Corporation, owner of the Wrangler brand and the largest denim player globally.

VF Corp will use Reliance fiber to make Wrangler jeans, which would be launched in India and the Asia Pacific. This co-branding exercise will give Reliance a foothold in the Rs 2,50,000 crore Indian apparel industry comprising almost a 50-50 share of men’s wear and women’s wear. The company has identified some 50 or 60 spinners, weavers and garmenters who could be eventually its HEP partner. Right now there are 25.

Reliance aims at delivering a world-class product and experience to Indian consumers through its retail and digital services businesses. Over the past three or four years, the company has made significant investments in new plants, thus creating organic growth platforms for its energy and materials businesses.

USPL Group’s youth fashion brand, Wrogn, is looking to spread out across India with more EBOs. The brand plans to strengthen its store presence by increasing to 50 stores by 2018. Most of the expansion will focus on North Indian cities.

Of the 50 EBOs, 18-20 stores are to open by end of current fiscal. Focusing in North India, Wrogn’s upcoming stores will be scattered effectively in mixed locations of metros and Tier-I and II cities. USPL is also looking at opening exclusive brand outlets for Mistaken, the brand for women in line with Wrogn. Founded in September last year, Mistaken is available through shop in shops format in selected Shoppers Stop outlets.

As per sources, though the brand is not going beyond existent store design format, SISs are and will be effective extension of its exclusive outlets. Currently, Wrogn has 12 EBOs, of which 4 are in the fit-out stage and will open their doors soon.

As a part of its retail expansion strategy in India, American apparel and accessories brand Gap, is set to double its store strength. It has opened two new stores in the Delhi-NCR region. The new store spread across 4,500 sq ft is located on the ground floor at the Pacific Mall at Rajouri Garden in Delhi. This is the brand’s fourth store in the National Capital Region.

The city is perfect for Gap’s on-trend, classic and casual style. With the Fall 2017 offering of shape enhancing styles alongside seasonal wardrobe staples, says Parag Dani Business Head, Gap, Arvind Lifestyle Brands.

The range features ‘Feel Good Jeans’, and denim and leggings in an array of colours and prints, including reds, blues, greens and vintage florals. The brand had recently formed exclusive partnership with Amazon to widen reach of Gap merchandise in places where Gap is not physically present.

Tantra, which has pioneered the art of quirky and humourous T-shirts by using ethnic artists, copywriters and cartoonists continues to stay on top of the game, both in terms of ‘T-shirt art’ and ‘content’.

The brand has opened its first store in the US. The new American store, is modelled along the Tantra franchisee line, run by Seattle-based expats, who have been fans of the brand, and see an opportunity for a brand like Tantra to occupy a unique space, amongst American Brands.

Besides the unique designs and ideas, Tantra is looking to introduce to the American audience, the team plans to create of slew of Seattle-specific designs, for native and tourists. All this at hugely competitive price-points. Currently, Tantra offers over 10 T-shirt labels, across four categories (men’s, womens, kids, babies).

Deepika Padukone's label All about you, has launched its latest autumn/winter collection 2017 in collaboration with Myntra and Carlin. The collection has been launched in floral prints and pastel shades including, yellow ochre, olive green, hues of blue and grey.

The Autumn/Winter collection is reasonably affordable with dresses ranging from Rs 1,999 to Rs 2,699. It also has a few polka dot outfits in white and black, and one of them is worn by Deepika for a photo shoot for the label, paired with a knotted top and a cowboy hat. Bringing back the classics in white and navy blue, the actress has added the element of street style by pairing it with loose straight fit blue denims oversized aviator glasses.

The collection has a range of floral printed tops, dresses, shirts and kurtas. Pulling off a floral print in the winter season can be a bit tricky but with this look, all you have got to do is, play natural and rough. Also, ethnic wear collection is available to shop in different prints and colours.

Future Group is doing what perhaps no other retailer has done ever: charging customers a cover of Rs 100-250 to enter its discount fashion format Brand Factory.

The cover charge would be applicable during a five-day promotion campaign from November 22-26, when Brand Factory will charge consumers buying goods worth Rs 5,000 at maximum retail price (MRP) from its 50-odd stores only Rs 2,000. Even that would be returned in the form of free merchandise, gift vouchers and cash back in the company’s mobile wallet. Customers can also redeem the entry fee against purchases.

Kishore Biyani, Founder stated the move is similar to pre-bookings online and in the bargain its gaining customer loyalty. It is to encourage serious shoppers, and bring exclusivity to their shopping experience, says Biyani.

In 2016, Brand Factory, a discount chain built on the lines America’s TJ Max and Marshalls did business worth Rs 115 crore during a similar three-day shopping event, selling more than a million pieces of garments. But the crowd was too big to manage. Some 12 lakh people visited Brand Factory outlets during the event. This time, the company expects a more controlled environment.

According to Suresh Sadhwani, Business Head the company hopes to limit customers and curate the footfalls better. Over the past two years, several retailers have been taking steps to help customers impatient with long lines at checkout counters, especially on weekends.

Calvin Klein partners with Amazon to launch exclusive holiday store

Calvin Klein and Amazon Fashion are teaming up to launch Calvin Klein X Amazon Fashion holiday retail experience, available for customers to shop now through December 31st. The company said a statement that this experience will include pop-up shops in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as an online brand store on Amazon.com/mycalvins.

”We are proud to collaborate with Amazon Fashion on this exciting retail concept,” said Cheryl Abel-Hodges, Head of Calvin Klein Underwear and President, The Underwear Group of PVH in a statement, adding, “It is our goal to deliver an immersive and content-driven shopping environment to the consumer, and we are thrilled to introduce this experience to Calvin Klein and Amazon shoppers, both online and offline, just in time for the holiday season.”

Calvin Klein partners with Amazon to launch exclusive holiday store

Calvin Klein to launch pop-ups, online store with Amazon

The company added that this first of its kind initiative between Amazon Fashion and Calvin Klein will include exclusive styles available only to Amazon customers at the pop-ups and the online brand store. The pop-ups will be located in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood and in the city of Santa Monica in Los Angeles. Each location will sell Calvin Klein underwear products, including men’s and women’s underwear and loungewear offerings, while the online brand store will offer an expanded selection of both Calvin Klein underwear and jeans.

The pop-up shops will allow the customer to make purchases by scanning a bar code in the Amazon App and having their items delivered to their home, or they can even purchase in-store. Fitting rooms will contain AmazonEcho devices, which will allow shoppers to ask Alexa various questions about the Calvin Klein product and experience, control lighting features, and play music of their choice.

“The holiday season is one of the most important shopping times for our customers, and we are delighted to team up with Calvin Klein to provide a fun, interactive experience that connects our customers to product in an engaging way,” added Michelle Rothman, Vice President at Amazon Fashion.

Calvin Klein ties up with Amazon to woo customers

The customization stations at the pop-up stores will also allow shoppers to have their purchased Calvin Klein underwear personalized with special embroidery. Content creation spaces will encourage shoppers to create their own unique, sharable social media clips. Lounge areas will connect shoppers between the bi-coastal shops via video calling on the AmazonEcho Show, allowing them to interact and share content in real time.

The company further stated that throughout the holiday season, the shops will host special events with notable personalities, including supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Klossand comedian and author Lilly Singh.

Picture credit:Calvin Klein

That's (retail) entertainment - the rise of China's Singles Day

What started as a modest marketing event with just 27 participating merchants, has become one of the world's biggest sales events in just nine years. This is Singles Day of course, invented by Chinese online giant Alibaba and since renamed “Global Shopping Festival“, which broke all records this year for Alibaba with a gross merchandise volume of 25.38 billion US dollars.

This year, 140,000 brands and merchants participated in the 24-hour shopping frenzy; as many as never before, and 60,000 of them were international ones. How could a newly invented commercial holiday become so far-reaching and a global phenomenon that is even bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday together, that too in less than ten years? FashionUnited has retraced the most important developments.

That's (retail) entertainment - the rise of China's Singles Day

Anti-Valentine's Day becomes worldwide biggest commercial success

The inofficial holiday has been celebrated in China since the early '90s when students started using it as kind of alternative Valentine's Day, celebrating (or changing) their single status in karaoke bars and restaurants. Gift giving was involved as well. Those establishments soon realised the day's commercial potential and started supporting it, helped by China's online explosion and its burgeoning, upwardly mobile middle class, which had more disposable income than previous generations.

In addition, consumers were being bombarded with advertising that was getting increasingly sophisticated and lured shoppers with discounts that were increasingly hard to resist. Alibaba recognised the enormous commercial potential of the inofficial holiday and turned it into a shopping event that was boosted on its platforms Taobao and Tmall.

E-commerce and m-commerce carried Singles Day

In a culture that values exchanging gifts, especially with friends, family and colleagues, Singles Day and Alibaba's platforms lured Chinese consumers into buying gifts for themselves. This strategy proved so successful for Alibaba that soon, other online retailers joined in, thus supporting Singles Day. Because of the deep discounts, many singles started waiting for 11th November to buy their annual supply of durable goods like creams, toothpaste and soap. This aided Alibaba's success and contributed to the online giant achieving a gross merchandise value of 5.8 billion US dollars already in 2013, only four years after starting the commercial holiday. Last year, Alibaba sold three times as much, achieving 17,8 billion US dollars.

That's (retail) entertainment - the rise of China's Singles Day

Another reason why Chinese consumers have been receptible for Singles Day is that they had been used to other holidays being turned into commercial events, for example Chinese New Year in the spring and the national holiday on 1st October (comparable to Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Halloween in the West), which have been turned into „golden weeks“ - week-long commercial festivals for traditional and online retailers. Thus, the concept of Singles Day fell on fertile ground and as its slogan „Happy double 11“ shows, is celebrated more like a (virtual) holiday than a mere shopping event.

Another factor that fueled Singles Day growth is the e-commerce boom, which allowed Chinese consumers outside of big cities and away from malls, shops and good infrastructure to take part as well. This is true for the population in highly congested areas as well: People prefer to shop from the comfort of their own homes rather than braving traffic and pollution. Many of them did not even invest in a computer but shopped via their smartphones directly - a trend that persists till today: 90 percent of all transactions were made via mobile phones during this year's Singles Day.

Singles Day sales are going up, up, up

There is also an advantage that Chinese consumers had from the start: Participating online retailers realised the importance of their platform being as easy to navigate and customer friendly as possible, so that from the beginning, they invested in a functional shopping environment that appealed to their target group and enabled them to reach international brands as well.

In view of the fact that China's middle class will reach more than 300 million people in the next ten years - more than anywhere in the world, except India - the online shopping trend will increase, as will Singles Day sales. And this is an attractive proposition for international brands and retailers who want to reach such a large audience. The numbers reflect this interest: While in 2009, just 27 Chinese merchants took part in Singles Day via Alibaba's platforms, in 2015 there were 5,000 international brands from 25 countries alone; a number that increased twelve-fold in 2017 to 60,000.

Photos: Alibaba Group