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Barcelona launches physical store in Muzaffarpur

Renowned menswear brand, Barcelona has made its much-anticipated brick-and-mortar debut in Muzaffarpur, marking an expansion into the vibrant northern state of Bihar. With this new store, the brand aims to offer its diverse selection of both casual and formal wear to the city's fashion-savvy shoppers.

Situated at Kalambag Chowk, Station Road, near Mai Sthan, the store promises a fresh take on men's fashion, steering away from the conventional choices.

Inside the store, customers can expect to find an array of western wear essentials, ranging from sophisticated blazers, shirts, and trousers to laid-back t-shirts, hoodies, and polo shirts, among other garments. Of notable mention is the dedicated segment showcasing Barcelona's denim line, boasting a wide variety of cuts and washes to suit every preference.

Employing a franchise model for its expansion, Barcelona aims to penetrate new markets efficiently, with plans to unveil an additional 100 franchise stores across India in the 2024 calendar year, showcasing its commitment to widespread accessibility.

Founded by entrepreneur Jaimin Gupta in Ahmedabad back in 2015, Barcelona initially emerged as a mid-priced men's western wear label. Since then, the brand has flourished, boasting over 125 franchise stores nationwide and a presence in more than 50 cities. Looking ahead, Barcelona is also gearing up for an initial public offering, although the exact date for this move remains to be determined.

Barcelona launches physical store in Muzaffarpur

Madame unveils Spring/Summer 2024 collection in Mumbai

Esteemed fashion brand, Madame has unveiled its much-anticipated Spring/Summer 2024 collection in Mumbai. The collection is set to be endorsed by renowned actor Shanaya Kapoor under the campaign banner 'Fashion is me.'

Kapoor will lead the promotion of this vibrant collection through various media platforms, including print, digital channels, and in-store displays. The assortment perfectly encapsulates the spirit of spring with its vivid hues, contemporary designs, and effortless elegance, says Kapoor.

Sumedha Jain, Head-Marcom, Madame, adds, Kapoor’s innate style and grace seamlessly align with the brand’s essence. The collection has received an overwhelming positive response from the audience for its unique features. It will be available through Madame's exclusive outlets, prominent retail stores, leading online marketplaces, and the brand's official online platform, Glamly.

Madame unveils Spring/Summer 2024 collection in Mumbai

When Online Goes Offline: Why brick-and-mortar is back in fashion

The e-commerce boom in India, fuelled by rising in internet penetration and digital payments, appeared unstoppable. But the tide seems to be turning, with brick-and-mortar stores regaining their footing. Even successful D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands, born online, are embracing an omnichannel strategy by opening physical stores.
Return of off-line stores
Several factors have contributed to this trend.
The ‘touch & feel’ factor: Customers, especially when considering higher-priced items, still value the ability to physically interact with products before buying. This is particularly true for categories like cosmetics, apparel, and eyewear. Beauty brands like Nykaa and Just Herbs understand this, with Nykaa tripling its offline store count in just two years.
Experience over transaction: Shopping is no longer just about acquiring goods; it's about the entire experience. Larger physical stores allow brands to showcase a wider product range, create a more inviting atmosphere, and offer personalized service, all of which can elevate the shopping experience. Anarock Retail reports a significant rise in stores exceeding 2,000 sq. ft. As Tushar Ved, President of Apparel Group India, emphasizes the importance of creating an inviting space that elevates the shopping experience.
Data speaks volumes: Growth in online user acquisition for major e-commerce players has significantly slowed down compared to pre-pandemic years. A report by Boston Consulting Group and Retailers Association of India suggests a partial shift back to offline shopping.
Importance of omnichannel strategy: D2C brands recognize the value of an omnichannel approach, offering a seamless online-offline experience. For example, Mamaearth, a leading D2C brand, boasts over 170,000 physical retail touchpoints, complementing its online presence.
D2C brands go physical blurring the lines
The move to physical stores by D2C brands might raise concerns about losing their unique online positioning or becoming generic. However, the evidence suggests it's more about brand expansion and wider reach. In fact, for D2C brands, venturing offline doesn't necessarily dilute their unique positioning.
Physical stores can complement online presence. For example, beauty retailer Nykaa grew its offline store presence from 72 to 150 in just two years. Similarly, for boAt, an audio wearables brand, nearly a third of its revenue now comes from physical stores. Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder of Mamaearth, highlights their 1.7 lakh retail touchpoints, demonstrating the potential for wider brand reach.
Financial performance and the future
While bigger stores translate to higher rental costs, retailers are focusing on conversion rates rather than just foot traffic. The future seems bright for this trend. CBRE reports a 25 per cent increase in retail leasing by international brands in 2023. This was record-breaking with a significant portion driven by fashion & apparel brands.
A JLL study indicates a strong supply pipeline of nearly 41 million sq ft of retail space expected to be operational in major Indian cities by 2028, catering to this growing demand.
The once-meteoric rise of e-commerce seems to be plateauing. A report by BCG and RAI suggests a 50 per cent drop in active users for top online retailers in 2023, compared to the previous year. This slowdown could be due to post-pandemic shift as mobility restrictions ease, consumers are returning to physical stores to some extent.
Indeed, the rise of brick-and-mortar retail signifies a consumer desire for a more engaging shopping experience. D2C brands are embracing this trend by adopting an omnichannel approach, leveraging the strengths of both online and offline channels. While the financial impact of this shift needs further observation, the future of retail seems to be a well-integrated blend of physical and digital experiences.

When Online Goes Offline: Why brick-and-mortar is back in fashion

Pepe Jeans targets Rs 2,000 crore gross sales by 2027

Pepe Jeans aims to achieve gross sales of Rs 2,000 crore by 2027 alongside the inauguration of 100 fresh stores.

As part of its expansion strategy, the company intends to penetrate deeper into Tier-II and III cities, with a focus on smaller towns accounting for two-thirds of the new store openings. Furthermore, Pepe Jeans is diversifying its product range by venturing into the footwear segment, particularly targeting the women's market segment with the introduction of an India-made footwear line slated for May.

In a strategic move, Pepe Jeans recently solidified a partnership with the Red Bull Academy for Formula 1, assuming the role of title sponsor for the F1 Academy team, including the women's team. This collaboration paves the way for the launch of a Red Bull racing line around August.

Noteworthy financial growth has been reported by Pepe Jeans India, with a substantial increase in revenue. According to regulatory filings accessed by Tofler, there was a 54 per cent surge in operations revenue to Rs 562 crore in FY23 from Rs 364 crore in FY22. Additionally, the brand’s net profit rose by 59 per cent to Rs 20.86 crore in FY23 from Rs 13.09 crore in FY22. This growth was accompanied by a significant boost in marketing expenditure and sales promotions, which surged by 67 per cent to Rs 40.28 crore in FY23 from Rs 24.19 crore in FY22.

Manish Kapoor, Managing Director and CEO, outlined the company’s evolving marketing strategy, highlighting a shift towards digital channels. Notably, 60 per cent of the advertising budget is allocated to digital platforms, while traditional mediums such as print and television receive the remaining 40 per cent. Additionally, the brand plans to increase expenditure on content creation to 18 per cent in the coming years.

Pepe Jeans targets Rs 2,000 crore gross sales by 2027

Being Human bags five awards at IFF 2024

Being Human Clothing bagged five awards at the India Fashion Forum (IFF) 2024, held on February 21-22, 2024, at Conard Bangalore. Serving as the fashion partner for IIF 2024, Being Human Clothing was awarded across various categories such as:

The brand was honored with the ‘Most Admired Marketing & Promotion of the Year’ award for its innovative multimedia campaign, notably leveraging Salman Khan's birthday to raise awareness and drive foot traffic, resulting in remarkable sales growth.

Additionally, Being Human Clothing earned recognition for its celebrity-endorsed campaign as it leveraged Salman Khan’s popularity for men's wear and Alizeh Agnihotri’s fresh appeal to launch its Gen Z-centric women's wear collection.

Emphasising its commitment to societal contributions, the brand received the ‘Most Admired Marketing & Promotion of the Year: Social Cause Campaign’ award, highlighting initiatives such as sustainable garment production practices, fair wages for farmers, and ensuring safe working conditions.

Being Human Clothing's dedication to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives was acknowledged with the ‘Most Admired ESG Initiative of the Year’ award, particularly for its use of sustainable materials and employment practices supporting diversity and inclusivity.

The brand's commitment to diversity and inclusivity was celebrated, with awards recognising its gender-fluid collection ‘Blur’ and initiatives supporting underprivileged and specially-abled individuals.

All the above accolades underscore Being Human Clothing's commitment to transcend conventional norms, foster a diverse and inclusive environment, and adopt a holistic approach encompassing sourcing, manufacturing, innovation, and environmental stewardship.

Sanjeev Rao, CEO, Being Human Clothing, reaffirms, this recognition serves as inspiration to continually push boundaries and innovate across all aspects of the business.

India's largest and most influential fashion retail intelligence platform, the India Fashion Forum has evolved into a premier platform for curated knowledge exchange, peer networking, and business development within India's fashion industry.

Being Human bags five awards at IFF 2024

Snitch bolsters leadership team with Maruthy Ramgandhi as new CTO

A Bengaluru-based men's fashion and apparel brand, Snitch has recently made a significant addition to its leadership team by appointing Maruthy Ramgandhi as its inaugural Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

With 18 years of experience, Ramgandhi brings a wealth of expertise garnered from reputable companies such as Stumbl, Amazon, McKinsey & Co., Bewakoof.com, Ajio, and Commonfloor.com.

Siddharth Dungarwal, Founder, Snitch, says, Ramgandhi’s exceptional communication skills, enthusiasm, and impressive presentation abilities will add value to the Snitch team. Dungarwal emphasized the versatility of Ramgandhi's role, which is deemed essential at the current juncture for the company.

In his capacity as CTO, Ramgandhi will concentrate on shaping the company's product strategy towards innovation, aiming to provide customers with an advanced and seamless shopping experience. He will also be tasked with leveraging emerging technologies efficiently and securely while aligning technological strategies with the company's overarching business objectives.

The company has also hired Varun Muralidharan, Former Retail Manager, Bestseller India to lead retail operations and projects while it hired Mayur Ashtekar, Rare Rabbit as Head-Business Development and Offline Expansion.

Notably, Snitch has been actively pursuing offline expansions, intending to launch approximately 20 new stores this year. The brand opened two new stores in Surat, with plans for further expansion across the state and other regions of the country. The brand has witnessed significant growth in gross merchandise value (GMV) and revenue, maintaining a consistent increase quarter-on-quarter (Q-o-Q).

Since its inception in 2020 as a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand, Snitch has garnered attention by featuring on Shark Tank India Season 2 and securing an all-Shark Deal. The brand also successfully raised Rs 110 crore in its Series A funding round from prominent venture capital firms.

Snitch bolsters leadership team with Maruthy Ramgandhi as new CTO

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