UK-based apparel retailers eye India market

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

After the Indian government announced FDI in single brand retail, numerous global brands are vying for an entry. However, many feel bonded by the 30 per cent mandatory sourcing clause. But with news about government planning to reconsider the clause, several UK-based apparel brands, including House of the Gods, Voi Jeans, Religion and Ringspun, are showcasing interest in the India market. They want to venture either alone or with a local partner to open their retail outlets in the country.

The organized retail sector in India is estimated to account for only 7-8 per cent of the country’s $500 billion-a-year overall retail industry. Of this, the fashion and apparel segment is estimated to contribute about 17 per cent. Like many other international biggies, most of UK-based labels are scouting for a domestic partner, who knows the market well to establish base in the country.

The impact of recession in the West is pushing many brands to look for new developing and lucrative markets like India to stabilise their business. Some factors that UK brands find of interest in India are: Its economic growth driven by consumption and not manufacturing for export like China, historic trading relations between UK and India, and India’s strength in English as a language of business communication, plus direct access to the country due to many direct international flights.