The Ripple Effect of Aspiration
Just like all big phenomena have a ripple effect, a part of Indian retail’s success story, even if minuscule, has contributed to the growth of the retail industries of our neighbouring countries. The Middle East region seems to be the latest hub of many homegrown brands from India. Interestingly, along with apparel and other categories, quite a few accessory brands are crossing the border to set up their stores in the region. The category, comprising a wide range of handbags, watches, artificial jewellery, eyewear, etc, is fuelling the growth of retail therein the region. In fact, to my observation, the whole slew of airport/travel retail globally is supported well by this category. The requirement of smaller shelf size is no longer barring the accessory brands from setting up larger stores as well as creating good instore experience.
To celebrate the presence of this issue in the Smart Store Expo, we have featured the viewpoint of Tablez, which is the organised retail arm of Lulu Group and has good presence in the Middle East market and other neighbouring countries. At the same time, to celebrate the Indian-ness of design, we have featured the intricate design of Ekaya Thaan, a premium fabric store. While we are constantly welcoming the global brands and their design ethos, we thought that it would be a refreshing change to depict the modern design take on the heritage of Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in India.
Although online retail represents less than 10% of the total size of retail industry, there couldn’t be a better time in the country to witness the online brands unfurling in the most surprising way – most of the time, by embarking on a brick-and-mortar journey. I think that one of the biggest challenges that online brands face while opening their respective offline stores is bringing their Instagram-worthy VM to the physical space. Interestingly, The Label Life’s first store has surprised us and therefore, it has bagged a space in this issue.
While signing out, I shall remind you again of the ripple effect phenomenon. Even within the country, the aspiration of retail is no longer confined to the metros alone. In our special section, Retail Yatra, we have chosen Surat, a key city of Gujarat and featured the noteworthy brands there. These brands, although tucked away from the ultraurban spotlight, are adopting an elevated level of retail design and are on an expansion spree.
Happy reading! As always, shower us with your valuable comments and feedback.