The State of Indian Fashion Retail for Men and the Growth Aspects

Modern Indian men are spending in the fashion beyond essentials to keep up with the latest trends and competing with their global counterparts

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By Surya Suri


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Fashion has been a quintessential part of life since the inception of civilizations. The saying "the first impression is the last impression' does include both the intellectual personality and physical appearance aspects. Moreover, within the current era of globalization, digitalization and technology have made the world small, accessible by one just at the fingertips. Fashion has risen to the all-time high and social media and mass media has been the key catalysts in this evolution. Fashion has influenced industry verticals across the world, especially the retail sector. The exponentially growing retail market greatly owes its success to the fashion industry and changing trends.

The new generation has taken on the fashion at priority with the higher disposable income level, higher spending capacity, and greater shopping inclinations. The market demand for clothing in India was approximately 7.03 billion USD in 2012, which has now increased to 15.03 billion USD in 2018 with a projection to cross 20 billion USD mark by 2020, as per Statista. The figures are really promising, taking up the market several notches higher than expected. To further ass, Statista has showcased that the fashion industry in India is generating revenue of 7864 million USD in 2018 and growing a CAGR of 24.2% will hit the 18,732 million USD mark by 2022. The future of Indian retail fashion industry is shining brightly at its fullest glory and this creates phenomenal entrepreneurial and employment opportunities in the economy.

The Midas Touch for the Indian Man's Fashion Retail

The times are long gone when Indian men were stereotyped with Kurta-Pyjamas, Formal Shirt-Trousers, and Straight Jeans-Polo Tees. With the mobile penetration covering over 70% of the country's population, Indian men have been greatly influenced by the global trends and men's fashion around the world. With greater purchasing power parity, Indian men are spending in the fashion beyond essentials to keep up with the latest trends and competing with their global counterparts.

Indian retail industry accounts for nearly 10% of the nation's GDP with the larger segment catering to men's wear. Men's wear holds over 40% of the market share, highest amongst all in the Indian fashion retail, combine both the online and offline markets. The recent boom in the Indian e-commerce market has further facilitated the growth of the fashion retail and shows promising figures in the coming future. In the past decade, the growing consumer aspirations and brand consciousness have further added to the rise of men's fashion industry. Although the market has seen a complete transformation of brands, formats, products, and demands in the past few years, yet the industry giants have succeeded in ruling the market with their trademark products. Talking minutely, even when a number of fashion apparels entered the market suitable for different occasions, still casual shirt has been the most selling product in the Indian men's fashion retail market.

The Future Prospects of the Retail Market

A recent study by Boston Consulting Group has speculated the e-commerce for fashion to grow at an exceptional rate and the number of online shoppers will double by 2020, with the larger share of men shoppers. Online shopping for men's wear will take on not just the metro cities but tier 2 and tier 3 cities as well. The percentage share of urban men online shoppers will be around 52% of the total.

The total combination of online and the offline market for men's wear will cover the maximum of the total retail fashion market worth. As the country's census have stated that over one-third of the population is below 25 years and half of the population is below 35 years in India, with a larger share of male population; this creates an enormous audience for the men's fashion retail.

Furthermore, the advancements in technology have rocketed the retail businesses with IoT, 3D Printing, Machine merchandising, and other digital aspects. Infrastructure and geographical connectivity will continue playing a crucial role in the growth of the retail market as well. The entrance of international brands in the Indian retail has caused a great rifle which surely makes Indian market more competitive, comprehensive and organized one. This is yet to be seen that how Indian players and businesses take on the competition, increasing customer demand and servicing in near future. But, whatsoever the future brings on, it will surely mark the growth on Indian retail market gloriously high, especially the Indian men's fashion retail.

Surya Suri

Founder, Steele Collection

Surya Suri is the founder of Steele, a premium men’s clothing brand, devised to elevate the style quotient of Indian men to an unprecedented level.

Surya is an emerging entrepreneur with a keen eye for picking up the pulse in advancements of the fashion industry.  He has an extensive experience in handling clients from various parts of the world, catering to Indian as well global standards. Being an ex-model himself he has a flair towards fashion and Steele is a result of that.

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