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Inditex fashion brand, Zara, enters Indian market

May '10
Spain's fashion brand, Zara, will enter Indian markets with its first-ever flagship outlet in Saket, New Delhi.

A wing of Spain's Inditex group, Zara will span over an area of 1,500 square metres in the CityWalk shopping centre and it will open to public after a day of celebrations, which will include a celebrity fashion show and presence of Bollywood stars.

Following the celebrations, Zara, Spain's most famous retailer will commence its work on observing the early customer response as they have found the Indian market to be the most challenging till date.

Despite innovating speed fashion, a term used for quick dispatch of small and hurriedly assembled batches of economical catwalk-inspired apparels to thousands of shops, Inditex has taken a slow approach towards entering India, second most populated market. It will launch only one more outlet in Mumbai during this year.

With its presence in China since 2006, Zara already has 78 stores and just last year launched 41 new flagship outlets.

For Inditex, foraying in to the Indian market was the most planned step and therefore will not have the same scale of operations as seen in China.

However, they do expect that the Indian market will turn in to the company's most vital market, owing to its population size, number of big cities and the fact that, India has a huge and increasing middle-income group populace.

Despite being similar to China in almost all respects, India is a difficult market to venture for foreign retailers, especially fashion brands. Shopping malls and galleries favoured by brands such as Zara remain lack western measures.

More so, foreign retailers were also controlled from franchising in the country till 2006, when the country underwent a change in laws and started permitting 51 percent foreign-controlled joint ventures. For instance, Inditex has signed a deal with Trent Limited, a part of Tata group, for its Indian market exposure.

In 2009, Inditex's total sales increased to 11,084 million euros. By the end of its fiscal year, the company owned 4,607 stores across 74 countries, including the 343 stores it launched in 2009.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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