It’s all kicking off in Indian ecommerce. Flipkart, an ecommerce website founded by two former Amazon employees, raised $1bn in equity this week. Amazon itself quickly followed, with an announcement on Wednesday that it was investing a further $2bn in the country.
As competition becomes fierce at the top of the market, beyondbrics went to Bangalore to meet senior executives from Myntra, the fashion retailer that Flipkart acquired this year.
Ritu Kumar is the Vera Wang of Indian bridal wear, one of the oldest and most coveted designers for Indian women on their big day. She’s also a big name for formal women’s fashion and even western clothing in India. Her stores are fondly known as “Ritu’s”.
The Everstone Group, the India and South East Asia focused private equity investor that recently invested in Burger King here, has now put Rs1bn ($16.7m) into buying an equity stake in the brand, part of a wider trend in investor interest in India’s luxury fashion sector.
In a country of rapid growth, high-speed trains and fickle tastes, Esprit, the German fashion firm, is centering its Chinese turnaround strategy on the simple concept of speed.
Taking a leaf out Zara’s book, Esprit is trying to shorten the time needed to move fashion from the design phase to clothes shops from 9 to 11 months to 3 to 4 months.
Let's go shopping
We have a new class of customer in town, or in India at least – the “closet consumer”.
India accounts for just 1-2 per cent of the global market for luxury but this is set to rocket thanks to a newly wealthy section of the population, according to a new research from the Confederation of Indian Industry and IMRB International, the market researchers.
Russia: good footwear required
A Siberian retailer that began selling mid-priced shoes in Russian regions a decade ago is growing so fast that there is local talk of the company becoming “the Magnit of footwear”. Obuv Rossii now plans to go public offering investors a foot in the door to one of Russia’s most buoyant consumer sectors.
Skinny jeans and toasty, dry undergarments are still selling in emerging markets it seems.
Fast Retailing, the parent of Japanese cheap-chic clothing chain Uniqlo, on Thursday reported a 26.1 per cent jump in full year profits, as hipsters from China to South Korea flock to its stores.
How do international brands such as Jimmy Choo and Burberry work in India? What makes Bottega Veneta and Canali sell in a nation where the GDP per capita is less than the price of many designer handbags?
Genesis Luxury offers an answer. Founded in 2008, the group works as local partner in India for these and many other high end brands, through joint ventures and marketing and distribution agreements.
Opening the only five-star hotel in Iraq two years ago was a bold move by any standards. Throw in marketing cigarette makers in Lebanon and distributing Shell Lubricants in Iraq, and Malia Group looks like a controversial risk-taker.
Still in need of some Christmas gifts? What about some t-shirts sporting the face or the arrest warrant of Pablo Escobar, the violent leader of the Colombia’s Medellín drug cartel who terrorised the Andean country in the eighties and early nineties.
Almost 20 years after his death, Escobar’s son -born Juan Pablo Escobar Henao, now named Sebastián Marroquín-, has launched a clothing line, “Escobar-Henao”, which appears to be gaining adepts in the US, Mexico, Spain, and Austria.
By Ben Aris of bne
What’s the point of belonging to the emerging middle class if you don’t look good? That’s the idea behind KupiVIP, Russia’s leading online fashion store, which expects annual revenues to reach a billion dollars by the end of the decade.
By Guy Norton of bne
Shoemaker Borovo was once the second largest company in Yugoslavia, employing 23,000 people, producing 23m pairs of shoes, 580,000 tyres and 12,500 tonnes of rubber goods a year, all exported around the globe.
Based in Vukovar, Croatia, it survived the city’s 1991 bloody siege, despite suffering damage totalling an estimated €300m. Now it is facing another battle for its existence, this time in the face of an onslaught of cheap imports from Asia.
Although China is by far the world’s largest exporter of clothes, its wares are almost all sold under foreign labels.
This is now changing, with Bosideng, the Chinese fashion brand specialising in down-filled clothing, opening a flagship store this month in London’s West End.
While a handful of other Chinese fashion brands have concessions inside European and North American department stores, this is, as far as beyondbrics can establish, the first time a large mainland Chinese fashion group has hung its sign over the front door in the west.
Anyone who has ever been to an Indian wedding knows that the subcontinent loves big bright colours. And anyone who has ever walked down a street in Mumbai or Delhi knows that Indian men aren’t afraid of making bold fashion choices, either.
Now LVMH is set to see whether Indians are ready – beyond those wedding outfits – for bold colours in their dress shirt, after Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Brands announced that it had formed a joint venture with the French company to sell its Thomas Pink line of clothing on the subcontinent.
It could soon become a badge of honour for successful foreign brands in China.
Following in the footsteps of Apple (and basketball star Michael Jordan), Hermès – purveyor of fine silk scarves – has become the latest company to find itself in a tussle over a trademark.
News that Fung Brands is in negotiations with Sonia Rykiel, the French fashion house, to buy 80 per cent of the company, suggests that the private company owned by the Hong Kong billionaire Fung brothers, William and Victor, is taking a page out of the playbook of the luxury menswear company, Trinity Group, also controlled by the Fungs.