The 15th edition of Indian Fashion Forum 2015 (IFF’15) has inaugurated today at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai. Organized by Images Group, the one of its kind events has scheduled from March 18th to 20th, 2015. On the day one of IFF’15 a panel of distinguished experts including Amit Sarda, Co-founder and MD, Sunflower; Karel Williams, Global strategic Marketing Associate Director, DOW Chemical; Manohar Chatlani, Chairman, MD Retail, Bengaluru; Snaa Jhurani, Marketing Head, Heel & Buckle; and Sandeep Yadav, Head-Sourcing & Merchandising, Fashion, Snapdeal, discussed the crucial subject, ‘the role of sourcing and merchandising in changing world of brick and mortar and online business channels’.
Pakhie Saxena, Associate Director, Retail at Technopak started the session with the insightful presentation on trends affecting sourcing and merchandising and its future. Saxena quoted “In India apparel category is transiting from need-based category to a lifestyle category.”
As per the presentation, India, China, Russia and Brazil are the emerging countries that are expected to drive the global apparel market. At present, the Indian apparel market is 41.4 billion and expected to grow to 65.7 billion.
Interestingly, unlike other countries in India, the percent of men’s share of total apparel market is higher than women i.e. 52 percent. This is because the factors like casualisation, barandisation and price propensity are growth drivers of men’s apparel segment. Whereas women are not brand conscious and flaunt good style and design irrespective of the labels. Women’s wardrobe has prominent presence of ethnic and fusionwear.
While speaking on the trends affecting sourcing and merchandising, the retail director of Technopak mentioned that fashion is becoming perishable as seasons play a major role. Another noticeable trend is that fashion has moved to multi-channel from brick and mortar which leads to higher visibility and exposure.
Adding pressure of supply chain is also affecting sourcing and merchandising trends. There are is collaborative supply chain and extensive data sharing dynamics define the product. In fact, in future realignment with market will play a major role in presenting the right product available in right time.
The panel discussed various possible options to ensure quality in terms of production. Sandeep Yadav mentioned “Wardrobe of Indian consumer is not as large as consumers in western countries. Hence, quality becomes imperative, even to have brand loyalty.” On the other hand Karel Williams shared his thoughts that developing quality grade of product is essential quality production. Also, being in technology for product development is essential.