Foreign brands eyeing festive opening in Indian market

E-tailers have onboarded many international brands for upcoming sales

Foreign brands eyeing festive opening in Indian market
Flipkart announced the inclusion of San Francisco-based contemporary fashion brand Bebe for the Indian market just ahead of its Big Billion Days sale that starts on September 23.

The festive season might be about tradition, but shopping in the coming days will have a distinct foreign flavour as marketplaces vie to offer international labels to Indian customers.

With overall online shoppers in the festive week expected to grow 4X from 2018 and online shoppers likely to double from 18% in CY2018 to 30% in CY2022, brands, too, are keen on the Indian online retail market, which is projected to reach $68 billion in CY2022 as per a September Redseer report.

Fashion e-tailer Myntra announced onboarding US store Macy’s ahead of the festive sales after seeing a significant surge in demand for popular global brands and trendy styles.

Said Jayanti Ganguly, business head – international brands, marketplace and omni – Myntra, “We continuously aim to bring the best of international brands and labels to Myntra, along with enabling international brands to seamlessly reach the fashion-forward consumers in India.”

Some other key brand launches this year on Myntra include popular South Korean brand 8Seconds, H&M Home, UCB Home and a festive collection from Birkenstock, among others. Ganguly added that the Myntra Global initiative, a cross-border programme that enables Indian consumers to purchase products from other countries through Myntra, has collaborations with international brands like Trendyol, Urbanic, Zalora, JC Collection, etc.

“The company’s timeless global fashion, premium quality, and great value pricing makes for a strong association with Myntra and enables Macy’s private brands to be well positioned in the country,” said Sharon Pais, chief business officer, Myntra, on Macy’s foray in the Indian market.

Flipkart announced the inclusion of San Francisco-based contemporary fashion brand Bebe for the Indian market just ahead of its Big Billion Days sale that starts on September 23. Flipkart is also bringing fresh CR7 (Cristiano Ronaldo’s brand) products to India.

Sandeep Karwa, vice-president, Flipkart Fashion, said, “The past two years have witnessed a tremendous shift in consumer preferences when it comes to fashion, as it deepens to new niche categories such as athleisure. The Bebe launch comes at an opportune time when people across India, from metros to tier-II regions seek to upgrade their wardrobes for the festive season.”

Talking about international brands they have got in, Abhishek Maloo, senior director, Flipkart Fashion, told FE, “We have strengthened our selection of styles and brands and customers looking for fashion and lifestyle can choose from over thousands of national and international brands. Very recently we introduced Bebe, DeFacto, Anta, Trendyol, Saucony, Brooks and American Eagle on the platform. We also have homegrown D2C brands such as Snitch, Suta, The Label Life, Voylla, Uppercase, etc, on Flipkart.”

Ralph Gindi, owner & COO, Bluestar Alliance, which owns Bebe, added, “Flipkart understands our brand and how to engage the fashion-centric consumers online. We’re looking forward to working together to reach the Bebe shopper in this exciting market.”

Amazon’s Great Indian Festival also starts September 23, and the global giant has an interesting mix of national and international brands. Amazon Fashion India’s director and head Saurabh Srivastava told FE that in terms of fashion, they have seen a spike in demand from international brands across product types, including watches, shoes and travel luggage. “Watches from brands like Fossil, Tommy Hilfiger, French Connection, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani and more are fast gaining popularity amongst customers for their stylish look and feel. In the shoes category, the demand for sportswear seems to be a constant across seasons. Additionally, with the now renewed interest in travel, international brands like Kenneth Cole and American Tourister are catering to the both aesthetic and functional needs of our customers. In beauty, we have skincare, haircare, makeup, fragrances and gift sets curated for this festive season from top international brands such as Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop,
Innisfree, Kimirica, Elizabeth Arden and more. Within makeup, we have seen increasing demand for face and lip makeup products from brands like Shiseido, DDP Milano and Isa Dora.” The company is yet to announce introduction of any new international brands to the country, which is expected before the sale begins.

While e-commerce platforms are competitively onboarding popular international brands to launch them in the Indian market, luxury brands too are looking to make their presence felt by making a festive entry.
Offline, too, several international brands have entered the Indian market this year. In early September, lingerie, clothing and beauty retailer Victoria’s Secret opened its first store in Mumbai. Tushar Ved, president, Apparel Group, which brought the brand to India, shares that two more stores — in Delhi by the year-end and Bengaluru next year — and an eventual online category (after a few years) are in the pipeline. Canadian coffee brand Tim Hortons opened in India in Gurugram and Delhi in August and is likely to expand to other cities. Earlier this year, Reliance announced a strategic partnership with global fresh food and organic coffee chain Pret A Manger to open its stores in India.

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