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Forever New is now a 225 crore plus brand, says Dhruv Bogra of Forever New

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An interaction with Dhruv Bogra, Country Head, Forever New, Melbourne-based fashion clothing and accessories brand

Bengaluru: Melbourne-based fashion brand Forever New has recently announced that it has deployed end-to-end post purchase technology stack of Unicommerce to strengthen its omnichannel operations. In an exclusive interaction with Images Business of Fashion, Dhruv Bogra, Country Head, Forever New said, “We have made omnichannel capabilities a top priority in order to provide excellent customer delight. Our organisation has been concentrating on this sector for some years and has a long-standing relationship with our technology partners,” Excerpts

Please tell us about your brand’s journey and how you are positioned?

Forever New is a leading womenswear fashion brand headquartered in Melbourne, Australia with presence in the ANZ region, North America, South Africa, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, India and South-East Asia. In India, it is positioned as a bridge to luxury brands. It is one of the most desirable womenswear brands in India. It is admired for its impeccable quality and in-trend styling as well as classic looks and is now a `225 crore plus brand. The brand is present in over 34 cities across 40 EBOs and 50 shops in shops such as Shoppers’ Stop and Kapsons and available online on its own e-commerce platform as well third-party marketplaces such as Myntra, Nykaa and Ajio. It will soon be available at Lifestyle International stores as well. Forever New is amongst the top 3 performing vanilla brands in most leading malls across segments in the fashion space.

You recently collaborated with an omnichannel platform, Unicommerce. How do you see technology benefiting both your brand and customers in the long run?

We have made omnichannel capabilities a top priority in order to provide excellent customer delight. Our organisation has been concentrating on this sector for some years and has a long-standing relationship with our technology partners. The technology has helped us strengthen our operations in India and improve the shopping experience for our customers, who appreciate discovering new collections through various sales channels. We are convinced that we were able to provide our consumers with an amazing shopping experience. Thanks to our omni-enabled tech stack.

Discuss your retail strategy in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns.

We are currently present with 40 EBOs in 20 cities of which 14 stores are in tier 1 and tier 2. We intend to accelerate and double our stores in tier 1 and 2 and enter tier 3 over the next two years, and consolidate our position and occupy most key mall locations and high streets in the metros and tier 1 cities.

Owing to scarcity of retail space, expansion has been a challenge for premium fashion brands. How serious a problem does this pose?

We have grown over by 120% in 2019 and our future growth rests on the availability of enhanced and premium shopping destination. However, expansion and resizing to a larger space within an existing mall to enable a larger business is a challenge today due to the profusion of brands, the pressure on limited space, and the lag in the growth and supply of premium to super premium shopping malls. New high streets are not emerging at a scale that is needed and therefore there is an opportunity to create more infra and focus around developing high street shopping also. On the brighter side, there are some amazing malls that are coming up in 2023 which had got delayed due to the pandemic, but the industry needs more supply and quite rapidly, to fulfill the growing demand for brands like Forever New.

Where does the Indian consumer stand today when it comes to shopping in the premium segment?

The Indian consumer continues to evolve sharply. She has become more focussed on brand quality, style and overall value proposition. There is a higher expectation from the shopping experience and service, both offline and online accompanied by a growing awareness of sustainable fashion for which Forever New is highly respected as more than 90% of our range today fulfills all sustainability criteria. The bridge to luxury segment in which Forever New is operating, is growing the fastest as her fashion choices become more discerning and sophisticated.

Tell us more about your pricing strategy and design philosophy.

Our designs have one objective- to make a woman feel beautiful and conȃ dent, though well crafted and elevated products. High quality fabrics and impeccable construction makes the product a part of the wardrobe for a long time and cater to different occasions in a woman’s life- work, day out, holiday, party, weddings, gifting etc.

Pricing strategy: We are a bridge to luxury brand and the pricing is based on the end use of the product. The product is made and is positioned as an elevated product in the minds of the customer.

Your brand has presence in both offline and online, which one generates more revenue?

Our offline channel delivers 70% of our revenue.

With so many apparel brands in the market, how do you manage to stay ahead?

The pillar of our brand is the best in class quality and impeccably designed in-trend, highly fashionable classic styles. All our products are designed in Melbourne, Australia at our Global Design Centre and manufactured at some of the best factories in the world including India. Our other strengths lie in focussing on “Customer Delight” through offering “Quality” across all customer touchpoints. High quality Product offered from premium looking stores and website, exemplary customer service by highly trained fashion consultants. Our understanding with the customer has helped us design razor sharp marketing initiatives and our loyalty programme, “Allure” has been highly instrumental in expanding and retaining the customer base.

How do you see Forever New growing in the next 5 years?

We are on a very promising trajectory of sales and market share growth accompanied in equal measure by a handsome increase and rate of growth in profitability. Our vision is to grow the brand four fold over the next five years and we are on that path to sustaining our current position of one of the most desirable and aspired for womenswear brands in India.

Please provide an overview of the Indian fashion industry.

The Indian fashion industry is on the path to uninterrupted phenomenal success at least for the next 15 years as the young burgeoning population evolves to adopt more fashionable products and as AI and digital grow exponentially. The massive growth and penetration of mobile connectivity will further propel the growth of social media, e-commerce platforms and give access to world class, cheap to premium fashion, to the last pincode in India.

This article first appeared in IMAGES Group’s Business of Fashion Magazine June 2023 issue

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