Ac­ces­sories Re­tail is Here to Main­stay

VMRD - - Contents - Satarupa Chakraborty

What started as com­ple­ment­ing the main­line fash­ion busi­ness is no longer a sup­port­ing cat­e­gory. Ac­ces­sories re­tail, in­clud­ing bags, belts, hand­bags, eye­wear and ar­ti­fi­cial jewellery, is weav­ing a strong store net­work and is poised to de­liver ro­bust growth. VM&RD takes a sneak peek into this wide­spread cat­e­gory.

Carv­ing a niche as main­stream re­tail cat­e­gory, ac­ces­sories seg­ment is catch­ing rapidly as an om­nipo­tent fash­ion cat­e­gory. The con­sid­er­able growth in fash­ion spec­trum fu­elled both ap­parel and ac­ces­sories mar­ket to project fig­ures like $102 bil­lion and $155 bil­lion re­spec­tively by 2022 (Source: Face­book re­port). Start­ing off as a com­ple­ment to the ap­parel mar­ket, ac­ces­sories busi­ness, com­bin­ing hand­bags, eye­wear, watches and ar­ti­fi­cial jewellery, is poised for a big­ger growth in next few years.

If we look closely at the growth tra­jec­tory, In­dia’s hand­bags re­tail seems to have wel­comed many home­grown brands, most of which came from a strong leather ex­port back­ground, to sur­face as both on­line and brick-and-mor­tar brands. At the same time, the cat­e­gory was boosted by many in­ter­na­tional brands like Kate Spade, Louis Vuit­ton, Her­mes, Longchamp etc, com­ing to In­dia in past few years. LFS iden­ti­ties like West­side, Cen­tral, Pan­taloons gave con­sid­er­able at­ten­tion to build their pri­vate la­bel port­fo­lio in bags and ar­ti­fi­cial jewellery, while most of the suc­cess­ful eth­nic ap­parel brands in In­dia like TCNS, Biba, Fabindia have de­buted into ac­ces­sories seg­ment.

Mar­ket Pen­e­tra­tion

Touted as in­de­pen­dent cat­e­gory, ac­ces­sories re­tail has many sub-cat­e­gories like watches, hand­bags, travel ac­ces­sories, belts and ar­ti­fi­cial jewellery. Amongst these, bag is a cat­e­gory that is re­tailed through max­i­mum num­ber of EBOs, while ar­ti­fi­cial jewellery is re­tailed through max­i­mum num­ber of SISs. How­ever the lat­ter seems dif­fer­ent with two brands – In­dian brand Aye­sha Ac­ces­sories and UK brand Ac­ces­sorize. Both these brands, hav­ing a topline gamut of ar­ti­fi­cial jewellery, are oper­at­ing in the coun­try with max­i­mum num­ber of EBOs.

Aye­sha re­cently opened their the big­gest flag­ship of the brand in Pondicherry spread across 3000 sq ft com­bin­ing a café to the re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence. While talk­ing on net­work ex­pan­sion and busi­ness growth Jacque­line Kapoor, Founder, Aye­sha Ac­ces­sories, said, “We have built a strong net­work in EBOs with 19 op­er­a­tional stores. Though we will

keep on adding to that net­work, our brickand-mor­tar ex­pan­sion will fo­cus ma­jorly in SISs. Sur­pris­ingly, we grew 200% in our on­line chan­nel last year. There­fore, a large amount of con­cen­tra­tion will go into that chan­nel.”

Three ma­jor ac­ces­sories brands in In­dia, Ac­ces­sorize from UK, Brazil’s Hava­ianas and Lavie, (Mum­bai-based Bag zone Life­styles) has dif­fer­ent ex­pan­sion plan ex­clu­sive to each brand. San­deep Goenka, COO, Ac­ces­sorize, Lavie and Hava­ianas, “Ac­ces­sorize has an­chored in In­dian mar­ket well with its right prod­uct mix and lu­cra­tive price point. The brand is cur­rently avail­able through only EBOs and presently, 40 in In­dia. We will add 20-30 next year and this time, in­clud­ing non-met­ros like Guwahati, Kan­pur etc. Hava­ianas has just spent their first year in In­dia and the idea is to add 40-50 stores each year. Lavie is our in-house bag brand and we will ex­pand via a com­bi­na­tion of Co Co and fran­chisee roll­out. Lavie is present through 32 EBOs and 200 SISs right now.”

Di­ver­si­fied & Promis­ing

With close to 500 EBOs for Metro, Mochi, Walk­way and Crocs, Metro Shoes Lim­ited ded­i­cates 6% of their re­tail space to ac­ces­sories, while ex­pect­ing the cat­e­gory to grow 30-40% year on year in their over­all busi­ness. Alisha Ma­lik, Vice Pres­i­dent Mar­ket­ing and E-com­merce and Cre­ative face, Metro Shoes Ltd, said, “Though we have shelved it al­ways for im­pulse buy, the cat­e­gory is grow­ing rapidly, prompt­ing us to

put some se­ri­ous thought in terms of dis­play.”

Footwear brands in In­dia seem to be no longer shelv­ing their ac­ces­sories of­fer­ings tucked away. What started as com­ple­ment­ing the main­line mer­chan­dises, is now mak­ing for a promis­ing cat­e­gory. UN:ORTHO­DOX, a brand with decade-long ex­pe­ri­ence in leather goods ex­port own­ing 7 fa­cil­i­ties, started as a footwear MBO in Goa, merely spanned across 400 sq ft. While only 20% of their en­tire mer­chan­dises amount to ac­ces­sories like belts and bags, the brand was able to pull off 35% busi­ness out of the cat­e­gory in the end-of-sea­son sale that just went by. Poised to open 20-25 stores by 2020, the brand is slated to give the seg­ment its due space.

Larger footwear re­tail brands like

Wood­land and Bata also woke up to the rise of ac­ces­sories busi­ness, by con­stantly in­creas­ing the store space as well as de­vel­op­ing the prod­uct line con­stantly.

Store Sizes, For­mats & Busi­nesses

Over­all re­tail is wit­ness­ing a phe­nom­e­non of shrink­ing space and it would be im­per­a­tive to think, ac­ces­sories re­tail, since it re­quires smaller shelf size, would garner bet­ter ROI from less square feet. How­ever, In­dia’s grow­ing omni-chan­nel op­ti­cal brand Lens Kart, with a strength of 450 stores, has a tad dif­fer­ent story to tell. Peyush Bansal, Founder, Len­skart, throws the trivia, “Our reg­u­lar store size al­ways ranged be­tween 400 sq ft to 1000 sq ft. Re­cently, we opened a store span­ning across 2000+ sq ft and it’s giv­ing us even higher ROI than those smaller stores. We are plan­ning to open 10 larger stores this year.” Len­skart re­tains its omni-chan­nel char­ac­ter in­side the stores with vir­tual try-ons, tech­nol­ogy-led pre-rec­om­men­da­tions and trial kiosks etc at their key stores.

While large for­mat re­tail spa­ces are con­sid­er­ably in­creas­ing their beauty and ac­ces­sories shop-in-shop space, one of the lead­ing bag and travel ac­ces­sories brand, Da Mi­lano is miss­ing from the SIS scene. Hold­ing a rather strong store strength of 68 ex­clu­sive stores, Sahil Ma­lik, Di­rec­tor, Da Mi­lano, said, “We fall in the cat­e­gory of bridge-to-lux­ury re­tail and I don’t think

In­dia is ready to buy sim­i­lar prod­ucts from a MBO for­mat.”

Re­tail On The Go

It won’t be an over­state­ment to say that “travel re­tail” is just an­other store for­mat for max­i­mum num­ber of ac­ces­sories re­tail­ers in In­dia – be it jewellery, bags or watches. Add “eye­wear” to that list as Len­skart will soon open their swanky new for­mat at Mum­bai Air­port.

With a port­fo­lio of 15 air­port stores in In­dia, one of the old­est leather ac­ces­sories brand Hidesign claims to start the trend. Dilip Ka­pur, Founder, Hidesign, said, “We started the trend in 2009 in In­dia with our first air­port store at Delhi Air­port and to­day, along with ex­tend­ing our re­tail pres­ence to Bos­nia, In­done­sia, Kenya etc, grow­ing air­port net­work glob­ally is a pri­or­ity for us.”

Sim­i­larly, for Da Mi­lano, out of up­com­ing 15 stores, 10 will be lo­cated at air­ports and for a much younger bag brand, Covo en­tered in brick-and-mor­tar space only through air­ports and out of their 10 stores, 6 are lo­cated in all top air­ports.

Beyond Com­ple­ment­ing The Main­line Growth

Mostly dom­i­nated by the un­or­gan­ised sec­tor, the or­gan­ised bags and belt busi­ness in In­dia amounts to 15 - 20%, while watches amount to a stag­ger­ing 45-50%. How­ever, the mar­ket is es­ti­mates to reach $10.6 bil­lion by 2024 (Source: Technopak). Jewellery, an in­te­gral part of the cat­e­gory, is es­ti­mated to show promis­ing curve since there has been a no­tice­able shift from ex­pen­sive wear to fash­ion seg­ment in this cat­e­gory. It was also in­ter­est­ing to know from one of the re­cent Face­book and KPMG re­ports, 7 out of 10 ac­ces­sory pur­chases in 2022 will be in­flu­enced by dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. No won­der that fu­ture-ready brands like Len­skart is bet­ting big on geo-tag­ging and CRM to re­di­rect traf­fic to their stores. It’s wise to pre­dict that as fash­ion con­sump­tion will evolve and grow, ac­ces­sories re­tail will go beyond only as a com­ple­ment­ing cat­e­gory to stand on its own. •

Hidesign Hy­der­abad Air­port Store

Lavie Store

Aye­sha Ac­ces­sories Flag­ship Store

Jacque­line Kapoor, Founder Aye­sha Ac­ces­sories

San­deep Goenka, COO, Ac­ces­sorize, Lavie and Hava­ianas

Len­skart Store

Ac­ces­sorize Store VM

Alisha Ma­lik, Vice Pres­i­dent Mar­ket­ing and E-com­merce & Cre­ative face Metro Shoes Ltd

Peyush Bansal, Founder Len­skart

Da Mi­lano Store

Sahil Ma­lik, Di­rec­tor, Da Mi­lano

Dilip Ka­pur, Founder, Hidesign

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