Picking up the scent

Apparel companies bet big on the fragrance market

According to Euromonitor International, India’s fragrance industry is currently valued at Rs 2,200 crore, and is expected to grow by 20% in 2022
According to Euromonitor International, India’s fragrance industry is currently valued at Rs 2,200 crore, and is expected to grow by 20% in 2022

The past year has seen several apparel retailers launch their own line of fragrances. Shoppers Stop, for instance, introduced its fragrance line in November this year; and in September, Biba forayed into this category. Fashion designers Anita Dongre, and Shantanu and Nikhil, too, launched their own respective line of fragrances. According to Euromonitor International, India’s fragrance industry is currently valued at Rs 2,200 crore, and is expected to grow by 20% in 2022.

Fragrance forays

Shoppers Stop has launched a fragrance line under its beauty brand Arcelia. “We launched with our bath and body care range, which entails shower gels, body lotions and mists, sheet masks, lip care, face washes, nail care, and makeup wipes. The good feedback we received on this range gave us the verve to launch the fragrance line,” says Venugopal Nair, managing director and chief executive officer, Shoppers Stop.

Arcelia fragrances, available for both men and women, come in two sizes, 100 ml and 20 ml, priced at Rs 1,495 and Rs 495, respectively.

Ethnic wear brand Biba has launched three fragrances under its brand Spelle, with a special focus on gifting. “Our customers wanted a safe gifting choice from Biba, and perfumes emerged as the clear winner following extensive research and consumer feedback,” says Siddharth Bindra, managing director, Biba India. Targetted at new-age consumers in tier I and II markets, the 30 ml fragrance is available at Rs 999, and the gift set with all three fragrances is priced at Rs 3,299. Spelle by Biba is available in stores as well as online, and will soon be made available on e-commerce platforms.

Fashion designer Anita Dongre, who has brands AND and Global Desi under her name, got into the fragrances category in March 2021, with Ajmal Group as the co-creator. Its perfumes and body mists are available at all AND and Global Desi exclusive stores, department stores, as well as online, including a clutch of third-party e-commerce platforms. With this foray, the company hopes to bring a new set of consumers on board. “We will acquire 20-35-year-old consumers, who are not necessarily buyers of AND and Global Desi,” says Kavindra Mishra, MD and CEO, House of Anita Dongre. He hopes that the fragrance range will make up about 5% of the company’s accessories business in future.

Making a mark

The fragrance market is skewed in terms of the type of players operating in this space and the consumers they target, analysts say. Neelesh Hunderkari, partner, Kearney, says the market is dominated by either high-end luxury players or low-end unorganised players. To scale up their offerings, it is pertinent that fragrance brands identify consumers who are aspirational, and understand the brand’s value, purpose and proposition.

“For fashion retailers, a fragrance line is a natural extension of the product category; for luxury players, beauty and fragrances create a somewhat affordable category for customers to experience the brand. In both cases, it creates an opportunity to upsell and cross-sell the products,” Hunderkari adds.

For apparel brands who want to make a mark in the fragrance market, Alagu Balaraman, CEO, Augmented SCM, says store-based retailing and sampling will remain key. “People need to sense the smell of the perfume, and can’t make a decision just by reading about it.” While the online channel could be useful to generate demand, offline will be a dominant sales channel, he adds.

Getting consumers familiar with the types of fragrances, their usage and application could spur demand, analysts say. “Once the consumer is educated about these, you will start seeing growth in this market,” notes Balaraman.

Packaging, quality of the product, and the marketing efforts put in by these brands would ultimately determine how successful they are.

Read Also: What are the expectations for online retail in 2022

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