Reliance Brands Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd, is set to expand Italian denim brand Replay in India, in less than a year after it won the distribution rights for the premium fashion label for the India market.
The brand will open four stores this year, taking the number up to ten by end of 2021, joining the league of brands such as Calvin Klein, Diesel, GAP, among others that are selling more pricey clothing to India’s urban shoppers.
The association will also see the company exclusively retail Replay clothing and accessories that include denim jeans starting at ₹7,999 on Reliance-owned e-commerce platform Ajio.com.
The brand’s first store has opened up in a Gurugram mall. It will add more stores in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai, before opening in markets such as Bengaluru going forward.Reliance Brands manage over 60 brands in its portfolio including luxury and premium fashion labels such as Kate Spade, Muji, Steve Madden, Superdry, Diesel, Hunkemoller, Iconix, Juicy Couture among others and has 420 single brand stores and retails via 350 shop-in-shops in India.
In July, last year, Reliance Brands said it has bagged exclusive distribution rights for Replay, owned by Fashion Box S.p.a, that is seeking to expand its presence overseas.
In the coming year the brand will also retail via Reliance Brand’s multi-brand store outlet- The White Crow which currently has a store in Ahmedabad.
Reliance’s entry into newer brands comes as more Indians are spending on branded apparel.
According to estimates report of 2019 by CARE Ratings on India’s apparel market, in 2018 Indians had spent ₹5,40,800 crore on buying clothes- a jump from ₹1,92,400 crore in 2010. Higher disposable incomes, greater migration to large cities, and brands opening up in non-metros helped more people access branded clothing in 2018.
Denim is the fastest growing sub-segment for both men and women’s apparel, CARE noted.
However, competition in the apparel market has also been on the rise; even though the bulk of shopping happens in the mass and value brand segment, foreign retailers such as Zara, GAP, H&M have stepped up presence in the market.
“Contrary to belief premiumisation of denim is happening at a very fast pace, especially among male shoppers," said Manu Sharma, business head, Replay India, at Reliance Brands Ltd.
Sharma added that for now, the company plans to build the brand in key markets and geographies and then take a call on growing it further.
Prior to its association with Reliance, Replay was sparsely retailed in India via online e-commerce platforms and luxury multi-brand stores.
However, “all channels will now be owned by us--online, retail, wholesale," Sharma said. Sharma added that at present, the brand will only retail online via Ajio before moving on to other websites, “to control pricing, quality and placement of the brand."
Replay will retail in India starting ₹7,999 for a pair of denim, going upwards of ₹20,000, it also retails t-shirts and accessories. “One thing in India is to get the pricing right...we have tried to match the entry price points available for the brand globally," Sharma added.
Italy-based Fashion Box S.p.a. sells and markets casual wear, accessories and footwear for men, women and children under the Replay and other brands. It is present in 50 countries, with a bulk of stores in Europe. Exports account for 85% of its business volume.