The Tatas and Birlas of India copy Zara’s strategy of fast fashion

Credits: Allen Solly
  • Aditya Birla Group is now mulling over bringing new styles every month in Madura Fashion.
  • It has been Zara's strategy for years, which turned it into a $90 billion global empire. But, in India, Zara is considered too expensive.
  • Separately, Pantaloons is also attempting to execute the same strategy.
Aditya Birla Group will now look at the option of bringing in new styles every month, at its fashion retail unit Madhura Fashion. This is to please their new-age customers who are well aware of new styles rolling in, and want them at stores quickly.

If the Kumar Mangalam Birla-led fashion company would indeed get on-board the strategy, they would be the second Indian fashion retailer to follow the path cleared by an international brand, Zara.

The Amancio Ortega-led fashion brand is known for its ultra quick execution where it brings popular runaway styles into stores, within weeks. The Tata Group-owned Trent is also streamlining its processes to bring popular Instagram styles into stores in 12 days. Trent has 40 stores of its flagship chain Westside, which was also a former partner of Zara.

Fashion changes every second
This strategy bodes well with millennial heavy Indian consumers, who have re-defined the way old and new is perceived. Madhura Fashion says that its consumers expect new styles every month. This trend has seeped into smaller towns as aspirations spread along with telecom connectivity.

And, retailers are willing to do the extra legwork to reach out to them. "It is to move towards a monthly model, which means 12 seasons in a year," Vishak Kumar, CEO - Madura Fashion and Lifestyle Business told DNA.

Yet another retail venture of Aditya Birla — Pantaloons too is attempting to execute the same strategy, said Ashish Dikshit, managing director, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFR). Between Madhura, ABFR and Pantaloons, the group has over 4,700 stores across the country.

The Spanish fashion retailer Zara itself has completed a decade in India and is present across 10 cities. Though Zara is considered a medium-priced brand internationally, it occupies a premium position in India.

And, Indian retailers who have taken up Zara’s instant fashion strategy, offer something that it cannot---which is price advantage. Trent will be providing quick fashion at half the prices of Zara. If Madhura too follows Trent’s lead in pricing, then Zara might have more challengers on its turf, who are copying its strategy.

Madura Fashion & Lifestyle is popularly known for — Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Peter England, and People.

See also:
Cheaper by the dozen: Tata wants to bring Instagram styles to stores, instantly
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