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UK single-brand apparel retailers keen to enter India
Mar '12
Mr. Michael Pike
Mr. Michael Pike
Several UK-based apparel brands, including House of the Gods, Voi Jeans, Religion and Ringspun, are evincing interest in seeking local partners to open their retail outlets in India.

The organized retail sector in India is estimated to account for only 7-8 percent of the country's US$ 500 billion-a-year overall retail industry. Of this, the fashion and apparel items are estimated to contribute about 17 percent.

Although the Indian Government allowed 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail last year, most UK brands are on the look out for a local partner to venture into the Indian market, rather than entering on their own.

Brandspoke, a London-based brand management company which helps brands develop their business for new territory expansion and also to align business objectives with consumer desires, is helping some of the apparel brands enter India.

Mr. Michael Pike, Co-Founder/Director, Brandspoke International, told fibre2fashion, “There are a number of factors that are increasing the interest of UK-based apparel brands to enter the Indian market. However, the main reasons are extended poor trading conditions in mature markets and a growing acceptance through global media attention that India is fast becoming the next big market.”

“It is also interesting that India's economic growth is being driven by consumption, not manufacturing for export as China experienced. Furthermore, there is a historic trading between UK and India, and India's business language is English, which gives an additional advantage. In addition, there are more International flights giving direct access between the two countries,” he notes.

Mentioning the names of single-brand fashion retailers that are seeking Brandspoke's help to enter Indian market, he reveals, “Brandspoke is working with the UK Brands that showcased at Big Wheel and Indian Fashion Forum this year. These include cool street brands Ringspun, Religion, House of the Gods and Voi Jeans, which the Indian consumers do not as yet have access to. Brandspoke also represents Santa Monica Polo Club, Butterfly Twists, Nicole Farhi, O'Neill and Evisu Jeans.”

Elaborating on the topic of UK apparel brands entering India, he says, “Indian retail space is very complex and requires a deep cultural understanding of how India operates. Brandspoke generally recommends finding a local partner who not only understands the dynamics of the Indian brandscape, but also understands the importance of delivering an international brand to its global standards and formats. The dropping of the FDI restrictions by the Indian Government has given the brand owners a much fairer and competitive arena to make the best deal for growth in India.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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