Offering western wear at affordable rates, Madame operates through over 150 EBOs. Recently it has opened four international stores in Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan, and plans to cover the Asia Pacific region. “We have divided our clients into two categories; MBOs and EBOs,” reveals Ankit Sood, Head-Fashion Trade Forecasting and Planning. “The total share of knitted apparels in our MBOs is around 40 per cent. There are many players who play on great price points and fabrics. So we have to make sure we also follow latest fashion trends. For EBOs, we work on high quality knitted fabrics so to compete with biggest fashion rivals,” he adds.
The brand adopts innovative ideas and operating models including partnering with online market place, large format stores like Reliance and Shoppers Stop to expand operations. It is planning to expand in the US and Canada markets.
Striking a balance
In India, it has accepted the challenge to explore the Tier II, III cities. “Acceptability rate in these cities is faster. We have attained a breakthrough in market segment as well as market shift from unbranded players,” notes Sood. While exploring these markets, Sood does not overlook the importance of metros. In fact the brand plans to maintain a balance between the two. “Metros are significant for us to upraise fashion benchmarking while Tier II, III are huge markets with strategic business penetration,” he asserts. In women’s wear, western wear is getting accepted in conjunction with ethnic wear. “Our aim is to get a small share of the big pie; the small share might not be that small once put in perspective.”
With premium global brands entering India, competition is increasing. Rather than being concerned, Madame is taking the development in its stride, “Customers would have a wide ranges of cutting edge fashion and better pricing. Quality of merchandises is the major concern for Indian customers and key Indian brands are equipped to counter competition by maintaining quality, matching price points and fashion forecasting in metros as well as in tier I, III cities,” opines Sood.
Growth in e-commerce
Sood points out, Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow at CAGR of 40 per cent to touch $136 billion by 2020.The penetration of online retail in total retail is expected to rise to 3 per cent by 2020. “The market is increasingly attracting customers from Tier II, III cities, where people have limited access to brands but have high aspirations. These cities have seen a 30 to 50 per cent rise in transactions. New concepts such as sales on weekends, holidays and festivals are attracting a lot of new customers and building customer loyalty,” observes Sood. One of the biggest challenges that the segment faces is educating the consumer. “As the consumer has a certain mindset it can be detrimental to good business. Yet, customer is always right, so learning to balance the fine line is a big important,” he sums up.