Makers of formal wear such as Arrow, Van Heusen, Raymond and Park Avenue are now moving into the casual wear segment where they see an opportunity. According to Rajneesh Mahajan, ED, Inorbit mall, the increase in demand for casual wear has compelled retailers to focus on the segment.
“Arrow is launching Arrow youth a sports range, CKY the premium brand of Calvin Klein mainly into formals has got into fusion wear comprising both casual and formal wear,” Mahajan said.
At present, formal wear accounts for 63% of the menswear market of around $20 billion. This segments is expected to grow at 10% annually slower than the 20% annual growth envisaged for casual wear. The growth in casual wear is expected to be driven by higher internet penetration in Tier II and III cities, according to Rajat Wahi, partner, at Deloitte.
Gaurav Mahajan, president, apparel business, Raymond pointed out that two seasons ago, Raymond Apparel, a casual wear brand, was launched. “The Color Plus brand exists but within Raymond too we introduced the segment,” Mahajan said.
Mahajan is expecting the ratio of formal to casual wear to change from 60:40 to 50:50 in the next couple of years. He added that corporates were easing dress codes to allow employees to wear formal casuals like cotton chinos, semi-formal shirts. This was partly in deference to employees’ preferences to wear lighter clothes in hot weather.
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A senior executive at Shoppers Stop, declining to be identified said the retailer’s casual wear category was growing at around 10% to 15% annually and that the growth of formal wear had moderated. “Given the climate in India, we’re expecting to see higher sales from casual wear,” Rajesh Vig, executive director, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, said.
Aditya Birla Group’s Madura Garments too is focusing on casual wear and has products across most of its brands including Louis Philippe and Van Heusen; it is also expanding the range at retail store Linen Club.
Deepak Chhabra, MD &CEO, Crocs India, said, the demand for casual footwear was on a rise. “Earlier the ratio of formal to casual was 60:40 but this has now reversed to 40: 60,” Chhabra said.