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Rising & Shining: India’s fashion jewellery market

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The fashion jewellery market is registering high growth rates in India. According to Siddharth Bindra, Managing Director, Biba, India is the second largest manufacturer of fashion jewellery after China and each year, the fashion jewellery market is constantly growing due to increased demand domestically and in the export market.

“The consumer’s constant need for new and stylish designer jewellery has given a great boost to the market. Earlier people mostly preferred gold jewellery in India, but since there is great variety to choose from and keeping in mind the constantly evolving jewellery space in the country, consumers have started opting for fashion jewellery over fine jewellery,” Bindra explains.

With an aim to provide its customers a complete look under one umbrella, the ethnic wear brand launched its fashion accessory range, Biba Jewellery in 2017. The jewellery line includes fashionable neckpieces, bracelets, earnings and finger rings.

“The response for our jewellery line has been encouraging. We have been coming up with new collection for jewellery on a regular basis and getting much love from our patrons,” he states.

Vishwas Shringi, Founder and CEO, Voylla adds, “The fashion jewellery market in India is at about Rs 15,000 crore and is growing steadily at 20 percent CAGR.”

Voylla started its journey by selling jewellery online in 2012. At present, it is retailed through 145 exclusive brand stores and 20 multi-brand outlets.

The target customer for fashion jewellery is primarily the millennial. This population segment is young and occupies about 47 percent of the workforce. This customer segment tends to spend a large percentage of their income on consumer goods. Staying in touch with fast changing trends and the need to stay innovative and up to date is mandatory for this segment.

Siddharth Bindra believes that the drastic hike in prices of gold and silver are among the major factors that influenced the rise of fashion jewellery.

“Today, customers are turning experimental and fashion jewellery offers excellent innovation in designs and variety to indulge their experimental nature. Along with this, it is extremely affordable,” he says.

Changing Preferences

According to Jacqueline Kapur, Co-Founder and President, Ayesha Accessories, along with the acceptance of western apparel came the need to accessorise in India.

“Jewellery was not anymore worn for ceremonial purposes or with traditional attires, but it changed to being a method of expressing individuality and fashion sense. Today, fashion apparel trends go hand-in-hand with accessories required to achieve the look of the day. The effects of globalisation have influenced the tastes and consumption patterns of millennials, through international television shows and films, as well as the all-encompassing hold of social media,” she says.

She says that the fashion jewellery market adapted to organised retail merely 10 years ago. “With their higher disposable income and need to redefine themselves, millennials have championed the rise of fashion accessories into the organised retail market and assured their diversity.”

At par with international trends and keeping Indian sensibilities in mind, Ayesha Accessories is a youth oriented fashion brand. The brand targets multiple market segments with its four brands–through Ayesha, it target the fashion-conscious, mall-going, online-savvy urban girls; through Lil’Star, it target young independent mothers who are fashion-conscious for both themselves and their children; through Unknown, it target young unconventional urban young men; through JQ, it target trend-setting, design-oriented urban women.

“Being aspirational and affordable is at the core of Ayesha Accessories,” Kapur states.

Market Opportunities

Kapur feels that the fashion jewellery market in India has been barely scratched on the surface. “There are only a handful of brands which are present in India’s organised retail market and none of them are available in the Tier III cities. There is a big gap which still needs to be filled considering the growing demand. Besides women, young men have started to wear fashion jewellery as well and this is another segment which has not been explored at all.”

A third segment which needs reconnoitering is kids accessories. This segment affords huge opportunity, especially since the young mothers of today take great pride in dressing up and accessorising their little ones with the kind of statement pieces they would like to wear themselves. Kids accessories today include a plethora of objects – earrings, necklaces, watches, sunglasses, bags – and many of these are not really available in Indian fashion stores.

However, with logistics and infrastructure improving in India, Vishwas Shringi is of the firm belief that omnichannel players like Voyalla will get an impetus to penetrate deeper into the country and reach Tier II and III towns and cities.

There are quite a few emerging fashion jewellery brands that are trying to capture a niche segment. Relying heavily on word-of-mouth, celebrity endorsement and e-channels, these brands are driving conversations with innovative designs and aspirational value. And they seem less focused on scalability and accessibility. Hence, there is still a space for major branded players to address customers who want affordable, unique and quality fashion jewellery.

Numerous Challenges

Shringi feels that the biggest challenge for Indian companies is the cheap Chinese imports that are of suspect quality. “Since this segment is price sensitive and purchase decisions are impulsive and frequent, it is tough to match up to the price points of the unbranded Chinese jewellery priced at a fraction of locally made jewellery,” he says.

Another challenge, says Kapur, is that the segment is still small ticket in India, and that with purchases being mostly impulse buys, high footfall retail spaces are required.

“High rentals for these type of retail spaces make it difficult to meet the necessary turnovers by brands,” she says.

She also adds that there is stiff competition online where vendors offer items, hike up their prices and give massive discounts.

“Amazon for example has more than 20 crore products available in the fashion jewellery section alone. Most of the vendors are not available offline and hike up their prices to be able to give sensational discounts. It is very difficult to stand out in this ocean of products and portray your brand rather than selling a commodity at 92 percent discount. The only way to face both these challenges is to become an aspirational yet affordable fashion brand whose name resonates with the younger generation,” she says.

“We fare by far the best on Myntra, which has a very curated line of vendors who offer fashion jewellery and where we can stand out as a brand,” she explains.

Available in 22 cities with 17 exclusive stores, 70 multi brand outlets including Central, Shoppers Stop and Reliance’s Project Eve along with a strong online presence in 10 e-commerce portals, Ayesha Accessories’ primary market are India’s biggest metropolitan cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru. Its biggest presence of EBOs is in Mumbai, while the highest number of MBOs is located in Bengaluru. “We are planning to expand to 300 to 400 retail points-of-sale within the next 4 years,” Kapur reveals. Apart from a location-wise expansion, the brand is also focusing on increasing its product range of ethnic jewellery, bags, stationary beauty products. They may also venture into the pets accessories space in the country. Brand Biba is currently present in 105 cities through 262 stores as well as on e-commerce platforms. In addition, its products are also available in retail chains like Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle and Pantaloons.

“Though our major sales come from metropolitan cities, Tier II and III cities also give us a great attraction in terms of footfall,” states Bindra.

“Retail expansion is an ongoing process for us, and we continue to focus on the same as there is immense opportunity in this space. We are present in over 650 districts in India and since women across the country wear Indian attire, the opportunity to grow and expand in these markets is big as far as Biba is concerned.”

Voylla on the other hand is looking to strengthen its presence are present in the cities it is already present in, which is pretty much the length and breadth of the country.

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