Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff has co branded with Mojostar, the agency that specialises in co-created brands to launch an active lifestyle brand ‘Prowl. The brand is jointly created and owned by Shroff and Mojostar and will hit retail platforms in June this year. Shroff is not the first celebrity to turn to active wear for his brand. In 2016, Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor had also launched an athleisure wear brand Skult (claiming it to be the first brand to focus on athleisure), targeting young men.

Mojostar is the brainchild of Anirban Das Blah, founder of entertainment agency KWAN and Jiggy George, founder, Dream Theatre, a leading licensing company. The company was founded with the vision of creating a house of retail brands co-created with celebrities. Mojostar has earmarked investments of up to $5 million for the launch of its first three co-created brands (all to be launched this calendar).

Prowl targets young consumers (aged 18 to 25 years) who lead a high activity lifestyle, and are constantly on the move. They regularly transition from one activity to another and want to look good while doing it. Prowl aims to provide functional yet stylish clothing and accessories to fit the target consumers active lifestyles.

Woodland is considering increasing its manufacturing capacity by 30 per cent and will be investing approx Rs 40 crore for the same. Harkirat Singh, Managing Director, Woodland stated the brand has 600 company owned outlets and around 5,000 multi brand stores. With growing demand from e-commerce alongside supply requirements in markets like China, Russia and Africa requires capacity enhancement across our manufacturing units.

The company will be upgrading machinery and bringing in new ones in its Noida facility. Apart from Noida, up scaling of facilities will happen across manufacturing units in Jalandhar, Dehradun, Baddi among others. Furthermore, the manufacturing enhancement plan also includes acquisition of Kanpur’s sick leather units.

Brands chasing high-spending customers are opening stores in Bangalore by the dozen. Retailers and realtors are opening new spaces across the metro. For example, Swedish retail giant Ikea will soon launch a store in the city, bringing its minimalist and affordable products much closer to the city’s residents. The city’s residents, especially the millions working for the outsourcing industry, are aware of the latest fashion trends. Arvind Brands, which has Flying Machine and Ruff n Tuff to iconic labels like Lee, Wrangler and Gap in its portfolio, sees Bangalore as central to its expansion plans, both in terms of new brand launches and expanding its retail footprint. Arvind will expand its footprint across the board from budget brands to premium offerings such as Gap. Marquee labels have shrunk the time to reach consumers because of new stores and malls.

Real estate and retail space isn’t as prohibitive as Mumbai or Delhi. At the same time, consumers are acutely aware of what they buy and eat. People are willing to buy entry-level denim and splurge on premium labels too. Brands such as Springfield, Toys R Us and Xiaomi have opened outlets in Bangalore in the past 12 months to reel in consumers.

After Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Sidharth Malhotra, Huma Qureshi, is now set to enter the fashion world. The actress will follow the footsteps of her colleagues by venturing out with a fashion line. She aims to make fashion affordable for all. The actress’ new venture is an initiative towards that direction. This provides an opportunity to young girls to explore their fashionable side at reasonable prices.

Huma’s forthcoming line is yet to be titled. Knowing that it will be for young girls, the designs will have a contemporary, feminine and youthful. Moreover, Huma will be completed involved wherein she will be overseeing everything right from the designs of the clothes to distribution of the brand.

Myntra’s new campaign “Myntra Maxcessorise” is out now promoting its new accessories collection. Led by digital and social mediums, the campaign aims to showcase the variety and beauty of the collection, available exclusively on Myntra. Some leading brands in the category are: Fossil, Michael Kors, Casio and Titan. With the addition of new brands, Myntra now houses more than 30 top global brands in the category, making it one of the finest watch stores in the country to call. Daniel Wellington, one of the fastest growing brands globally, will also be exclusively available online on Myntra.

Meanwhile, making way for consumers to shop for their favorite timepieces from a swanky collection, Myntra announced its association with premium watch brands like Lacoste, Coach and Hugo Boss as an outstanding addition to its current portfolio. With the new collaboration the brand has also made its first online portal.

Being India's leading platform for fashion brands Myntra has partnered over 2,000 foremost fashion and lifestyle brands in the country Myntra services over 19,000 pin codes across the country it has been preferred as the best shopping destination in India.

Uniqlo to open first flagship store in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

London - Fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo is set to open its first store in The Netherlands this autumn. Located in the former Forever 21 flagship store op the Kalverstraat , the debut Dutch store from the Japanese apparel retailer will span 2,040 square meters and offers Uniqlo’s LifeWear for women, men and children.

Spanning three floors, the new store will also feature a dedicated floor for Uniqlo’s UT-collection as well. Following the new flagship store opening in Amsterdam, the store will be the largest Uniqlo store in the Benelux, as well as one of the largest stores from the retailer in Europe. “We are very enthusiastic to open the first Uniqlo store in the Netherlands and to introduce our brand in Amsterdam, a city which is known for its relaxed and casual lifestyle,” said Taku Morikawa, Uniqlo Chief Executive Officer, Europe in a statement.

“I believe that our LifeWear, designed around core items such as denim, ultra light down outerwear, extra fine merino knitwear and more, will be a perfect match for locals, every season of the year. With our entry in the Netherlands, we are taking the next step in our plans to expand our presence in the Benelux,” he added. Uniqlo aims to open its new flagship in Amsterdam sometime in autumn 2018. An exact opening date has yet to be confirmed.

Photo: Courtesy of Uniqlo

Armani Exchange has launched a new boutique store at the upmarket Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. Located on the ground floor, the boutique showcases the latest Spring-Summer ’18 menswear and women’s wear collections. The design aesthetics of the 1,637 sq. ft. designer boutique is an inspiration from a contemporary industrial hangar, with strong material feel.

The setting is urban, which has time worn looks following designer streaks on industrial wooden floors, mindboggling textures on rough concrete walls and rust coloured metal surfaces. One has to enter through a beamed door. Metal profile, industrial planks and concrete walls create spaces that defines a strong material and sensory impact defined by two identifying elements designed like an A and X. A throng of windows appear to slide along the entire perimeter, permitting wing light to enter and shape its designer spaces.

Amazon is partnering with FICCI-Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CMSME), the affiliated body under FICCI to conduct training events and workshops across the country focused on its Global Selling Program. The aim is to educate exporters and manufacturers about B2C exports using the e-commerce road and enable them to sell across 10 international marketplaces through Amazon’s Global Selling Program.

Experts from Amazon, FICCI-CMSME and various service providers will come together to help manufacturers and potential exporters in understanding procedures and requirements in the areas of logistics, taxation and cataloguing and will further guide them through the entire process of exports using e-commerce. Amazon offer tips and tricks of the digital business opportunity, brand building, documentation, listing methodology and Amazon services such as Fulfilment by Amazon and Sponsored Ads.

Sanjay Bhatia, President, Ficci-CMSME says the number of digital buyers worldwide is expected to grow to 2.07 billion in 2019 from 1.3 billion in 2014. E-commerce shopping is a thriving market with people increasingly choosing this option to order products and services at their convenience.

Abhijit Kamra, Head-Global Selling, Amazon India points out categories such as apparel & accessories, leather, beauty and health products, toys and household goods have a great demand internationally. Indian exporters have a comparative advantage and immense potential here. From few hundred sellers during our launch to over 32,000 sellers offering over 90 million products, Amazon Global Selling has grown and supported thousands of exporters till date and we look forward to enabling thousands more through the program.

The impact of relaxation in FDI rules in single-brand retail would be more pronounced in the apparel, luxury goods, home decor, footwear, and electronics segments, says Crisil. And with the government allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail under the automatic route, the share of organised retail in India is expected to rise to 10 per cent by 2020, up from 7 per cent in 2016-17.

Before this, Crisil had estimated the market share of organized retailers to grow to 9 per cent of the overall industry, by 2020. The impact of relaxation in rules would be more pronounced in the apparel, luxury goods, home decor, footwear, and electronics segments.

Anuj Sethi, Senior Director at Crisil Ratings says the global single-brand retailers facing growth headwinds in their key geographies will now be more than keen to peg tent in India and those already present could step up investments. The previous sourcing norms were a bottleneck to scaling up of operations. At present only up to 49 per cent FDI was allowed through the automatic route and investment above that needed government approval.

The cabinet also eased the local sourcing rules for foreign single-brand retailers; such entities are not required to meet the 30 per cent target for local sourcing by their Indian units for five years if they are already doing so for their global operations. So far, single-brand retailers were required to source locally 30 per cent of the value of goods purchased for their Indian business initially as an average of five years; later they were required to meet the requirement on a yearly basis. The relaxation of rules will remove the entry barriers for foreign single-brand retailers altogether and also help the new companies stabilize their sourcing base.

With dipping sales in fast fashion brand Forever 21, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL), the licensee of American fast fashion brand is now downsizing stores and cutting costs. ABFRL reported a loss of Rs 23 crore in fast fashion business during the quarter ended December 2017, even as sales from the business declined 14 per cent from a year earlier to Rs 114 crore (net sales value, or NSV). Losses widened because Forever21 took a one-time inventory hit, Ashish Dikshit, MD, ABFRL’s Madura Lifestyle Business. However, NSV comparisons were also affected by changes in GST rates.

ABFRL has reduced the size of its oldest stores and will now focus on opening new but smaller stores. Most of these are stores opened by the brand before ABFRL acquired the licence for Forever21 from previous partners DLF Brands and Diana Retail.

ABFRL is expecting its fast fashion business to turn around by next quarter, driven by high double digit like to like sales growth. The firm has been focusing on cost cutting to help boost margins, primarily through renegotiating rents and reducing store sizes wherever possible including for Pantaloons, the firm’s departmental store chain.

Fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M usually operate stores of 25,000-50,000 sq. ft around the world and in India. ABFRL did not specify how small the new stores will be. Meanwhile Zara closed FY16-17 with Rs 1,023 crore in sales and 20 stores, according to the latest data. Parent Inditex SA operates Zara stores in a joint venture with Tata’s Trent. Zara also launched its own e-commerce website in India in October last year.