THE MARKET FOR LUXURY GOODS AND SERVICES HAS GROWN RAPIDLY IN ALL THE TOP METRO CITIES, MAKING THE CONSUMER R SPOILT FOR CHOICE.
A NICHE SEGMENT
But despite this consumer evolution, home-grown players in the affordable luxury space are still small fish compared to foreign brands. India as a retail market is not uniform, especially when it comes to preference for luxury in terms of need fulfilment. Few existing players have thus been able to fulfil the needs of the Indian luxury consumer. Since this segment of market remains untouched, huge potential lies in the same.
To be successful in India as a retailer, it is necessary to gauge both the financial potential as well as the mindset of the Indian luxury consumer. For example, the traditional Indian custom of personal adornment has led to strong demand for luxury accessories, jewellery and timepieces, and designer clothing and footwear, thus establishing international retail brands as a huge competitor to the domestic Indian brands. When it comes to ‘affordable luxury’, Indian retailers find it comparatively more difficult to generate revenue from Indian brands, a concern that the Indian brands are taking seriously and addressing accordingly. The market for luxury goods and services has grown rapidly in all the top metro cities, making the consumer spoilt for choice and signifying a major upheaval for the country’s retail sector. The average of luxury brand owners is less than 40 years in India. This segment has sophisticated tastes and is fast taking up entry-level luxury segment cars to flaunt their success. With growing internet access and increased awareness of luxury products via social media, the luxury goods service providers are now focusing on a combination of offline, digital and social media to influence customers. For the most part, it’s international brands such as Michael Kors, Diesel, and Charles & Keith that dominate theth affordable luxury segment in India. For brand-conscious Indian shoppers, these established global giants provide a way to invest in status symbols that are far more affordable than the average luxury brand.
Since its entry in 2013, Michael Kors has opened four stores in the country and plans to launch even more. The brand is doing brisk business in India with its colourful bags and accessories, with shoppers spending a sizable sum of around R20,000-R30,000 at a time. Meanwhile, accessories brand Kate Spade launched its first two stores in India earlier this year, located in New Delhi.