On July 24, IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Ladies’ Wing hosted a panel discussion on ‘new trends in retail’. Panellists Tina Tahiliani Parikh, Executive Director of Ensemble, Gopi Vaid, Founder of Label Gopi Vaid, Deepika Gehani, Senior Vice President PR Marketing, Design, Reliance Brands Ltd., Avni Biyani, Concept Head, Foodhall and Nisha Khiani, Business Development and Marketing Head, Isharya jewellery, shared insights and experiences on retail trends in India.
Explaining the idea behind the topic of discussion, Vanita Bhandari, the Wing’s President, elucidated, “This event stems from the overwhelming response the IMC Women Entrepreneurs Exhibition gets each year. For the last edition, we got 600 applications for 200 stalls..” Hence, this panel is specifically organised to encourage young women entrepreneurs who want to grow in the retail industry.
The Indian retail market has been growing rapidly over the past few years. Tina Tahiliani Parikh of Ensemble highlighted how the Indian design market has changed from the 90s to now. “In the early nineties, Indian women would only shop for Benarasi and Kanjivaram sarees. Designers weren’t as commercial at that point,” Parikh said. She elaborated that all those years ago, the talented designers in India didn’t have any platform where they could showcase their work. “Over the years this eventually changed.” Today, there are many multi-designer fashion outlets and pop-ups across the country.
The retail growth has not been restricted to just Mumbai and Delhi but is fanning out to other cities too. The luxury space has now expanded to cities such as Chennai and Chandigarh among others, said Vaid.
“A few days ago, a client from a small town came to me to buy one of my lehengas that she had seen on my Instagram account,” said Gopi. Several such clients across smaller cities and towns are buying expensive high-end products today.
Social media makes it easy for consumers to access information on designs, product itineraries and fashion trends. Buying has become an evolved process and there is a shift in how consumers look at products. “Everything is about a story and storytelling. People today want to know what does a product stand for. I think that the consumers want to connect with they buy. It is about the entire experience,” said Khiani.
The luxury space has grown not just around apparels, jewellery or footwear, but also around food. Future Group’s Foodhall has revolutionised the premium lifestyle food space. The availability of consumables from across the world has changed the consumption patterns. “It took us seven years to reach where we are today. We take our database seriously and keep an eye for the food trends globally,” said Biyani, adding that the food space is growing exponentially.