For nearly a decade, Tata Group has been Inditex SA’s partner running Zara stores in India. Now, the country’s largest conglomerate is building its own apparel empire as trend-focused as Zara – but at half the price.
Its retail arm, Trent Ltd., has fine tuned its local supply chain to deliver “extreme fast fashion” which can get runway styles to customers in just 12 days, the same compressed timeline that’s turned Inditex into a $90 billion empire.
Trent now plans to open 40 outlets of its flagship Westside chain every year and hundreds of its mass market Zudio stores, where nothing costs more than $15, across India, said chairman Noel Tata in an interview in Mumbai. The target audience: a consumer population that is newly trend-conscious and globalized, but whose low average incomes means that clothing from Zara itself is still mostly out of reach.
“The middle class is growing, incomes have grown, Indians are traveling more and they have more money to spend,” Tata said. “Now that we’ve built this capability and this model that’s working so well, it’s time to grow faster.”
Trent, part of the $111 billion salt-to-software Tata conglomerate, is hoping its quick and responsive supply chain will help it become as ubiquitous in Asia’s third-largest economy as Zara is in the West. But it’ll need to fend off competition from both local brick-and-mortar stores as well as e-commerce giants to do so.
Consumer interest growing
India’s total household spending will quadruple from $1.5 trillion now to $6 trillion by 2030, making it world’s third largest consumer market, according to a January report from the World Economic Forum.
The population’s “sense of fashion” has evolved, especially over the last three to four years due to smartphones and Internet data penetration, said Abhijeet Kundu, an analyst with Antique Stock Broking Ltd. “Every consumer wants to wear the latest fashion. Even if that consumer is from a smaller town, he will try to dress like a movie actor.”
That’s why Trent does sprints once a month: turning a trend spotted on Instagram or a foreign catwalk into a limited run in select stores in 12 days. If the product does well, it goes into a full run, which usually takes 60 days to go from designer’s sketches to store shelves.
Increasingly, the retailer is finding it can slash that time to 40 days, using Zara-inspired tricks like holding fabric stock itself, Tata said.
Income growth lagging
While India’s fashion consciousness has surged, its purchasing power hasn’t kept pace. Less than a quarter of Indian households had annual incomes of $8,500 or more in 2018, according to the WEF report, putting brands such as Zara or H&M beyond the reach of most consumers.
Trent’s lower prices are a better fit. “The value proposition we offer is much stronger than the international brands,” Tata said.
Trent is hiring employees who can pick the next trends and introduces 300 new styles across its stores each week, said Kundu. It spends 65% more on personnel per square foot than its Indian competitors.
All 11 analysts who track Trent’s stock recommend buying it. The stock has advanced 13% this year while comparable Indian fashion retail chains such as Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. and Shoppers Stop Ltd. have either lagged or declined.
That comes after five straight years of annual gains during which Trent’s stock appreciated 143% compared to a 31% rise in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. The company’s operating profit margin has nearly tripled since 2014.
Retail spaces lacking
Still, Trent’s ambition to be like Zara will be hampered by India-specific challenges. It’s faced difficulty finding space for new stores, because traditional high streets are a rarity in India’s chaotic, congested cities. Last year, Trent fell short of its goal of adding 100 new Zudio stores for lack of viable real estate options, Tata said.
It’ll also have to compete with local rivals who offer a similar mix of Western wear and ethnic Indian styles at even cheaper prices.
Trent views trendiness as its main advantage over these competitors. To that end, it’s working to make its fast fashion supply chain even faster, said Tata.
“It makes us more responsive to what that customer is looking for,” Tata said. “By looking at our sales and because we don’t have a long supply chain, we are able to respond to the trends much faster.”
(PHOTOS): Araba Sey Organizes Clean-up Exercise As Ghana Beach Soccer Sanitation Ambassador.
Ghanaian international fashion model, motivational speaker and youth mentor; Miss Araba Sey has been unveiled as an Ambassador for the Ghana Beach Soccer Sanitation Campaign.
A brief unveiling ceremony took place at the Oasis Beach Resort, Cape Coast on Saturday, 30th November 2019 after a morning clean up followed by a sanitation and environmental awareness workshop.
The multiple award winning model, Araba Sey expressed her delight at the Ambassadorship, describing it as call to duty which she would approach with all seriousness, passion and dedication.
Since 2011 when the first ever Ghana Beach Soccer League kicked off, officials and players of registered clubs have been actively involved in community sanitation exercises in line with the association’s “Communities Engagement Policy” (CEP).
The program was jointly organised by Envirosan and Oasis Beach management, staff, beach groundsmen, players, officials with children from the local community also participating.
Coordinator for Envirosan, Jennifer Dery confirmed that other non coastal communities would be visited by her outfit in the coming weeks and months as the campaign intensifies.
GlennSamm Wins YEA 2019 Fashion Personality of the Year.
Ghanaian walking artist, GlennSamm won the fashion personality of the year category at the Youth Excellence Awards 2019 held at Silver Star Tower, November 16, 2019.
The fashion icon with a tremendous global appeal, known in real life as Glenn Samuel Semakor won the enviable award in a stiff competition that had other equally deserving fashion super-powers in the category.
Addressing the audience and supporters of the event, the Afro-futuristic extended his heartfelt appreciation all his fans and other collaborators within the fast-rising creative hub, Kvngsofthenewschool who helped him attain this laurel.
Glenn further urged his supporters to be on the lookout for new mind-boggling art installations which will transcend the conscious and positive image of Africa to the world.
Senegalese Fashion Designer, Sarah Diouf Vows To Train Local Tailors, Artisans.
Senegalese fashion designer Sarah Diouf, whose Tongoro designs were catapulted to fame after being spotted on Beyonce, has vowed to to expand production in Senegal and train local tailors to translate her brand’s success into jobs for artisans.
Founded in 2016, Tongoro is a ready-to-wear label dedicated to the development of Senegal. The label made headlines last year when Beyonce wore Tongoro patterned dresses and wide-leg pants on vacation in Italy last year.
The 31-year-old Dakar-based designer was then asked to make a custom design for Beyonce, who wore a Tongoro suit and dressed her dancers in its jewellery in her “Spirit” music video for “The Lion King” film.
The Senegalese capital of Dakar is known for its vibrant fashion scene but most tailors are self-taught, work on street corners and have no way to reach a wider customer base.
Rising demand for “Made in Africa” fashion has not yet benefited many people in Senegal, according to Sarah Diouf, who employs only seven tailors so far. With more local training and online sales, she thinks Senegal’s clothing industry can grow.
Sarah Diouf said: “For me, the Beyonce storyline is opening the conversation and opening doors.
“We have so much talent, but I think we just need a little bit more structure to take it to the next level.”
By sourcing its materials from across the African continent and working with local tailors, Tongoro’s long-term goal is to create “a new dynamic for Africa-based manufacturing”, as well as foster the economic and social development of artisanal workers in Western Africa.
After Tongoro was featured in Elle and Vogue magazines, Sarah Diouf recognised its potential to sell worldwide. She plans to scale up next year and eventually open a production facility with 100 to 150 tailors.
She added: “It’s very important for me to create an ecosystem where everyone can benefit from what I do.”
Ghanaian Top Model Prisca Abah Speaks At Sustainable Rice Platform Conference In Thailand.
UN Youth Ambassador SDG 12 Prisca Abah has addressed delegates at the 2nd Global Sustainable Rice Conference and Exhibition held at United Nation Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand.
Ms Abah highlighted the best way to involve and engage unskilled youth in the rice value chain which she said is critical for the reduction of poverty in Africa and across the world.
The top model who is also the UN Youth Ambassador talked about Farming families, Training and extension program, senior extension workers and Young field data monitors.
The beautiful Ms Abah has had an amazing experience of working with some of the best designers, photographers and also walks on some of the biggest shows in Africa, including Planefocusgh; Wale Visuals (Nigeria); Jameswyner (Nigeria); Vine imagery; Frame it photography; JoehSey photography; and Dwain Hubbard (South Africa). Ejiro Amos Tafiri; Çharlotte prive; Melanie_Crane; Bello Edu; Nicolinegh; Quophi Akotuah; Adeziwavade; Larry J; Nallem Clothing; among others.
Ms Abah also acquired a few acting skills to her career and has had the chance to work with African Screen legend, Yvonne Nelson on her movie titled – “In April”. She did a commercial with Bismark the joke for Storm energy drink, as well as ‘New Life Cream.’ Ms Abah was granted a diplomatic certificate from World Academy of Human science as a representing spokesperson in Ghana.
She's won multiple and notable awards, such as SSA(South South Achievers Awards )International Model Of the year 2019, GMIA (Ghana Modeling Industry Award)Top Model of the year 2018/2019, GOWA (Ghana Outstanding Woman Awards)Model Woman Of the year 2018 and Afroma Runway/Female Model Of the Year 2017.
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