Accessorizing has always been an inextricable part of fashion to complete a woman’s overall look, apart from helping underline an individualistic style. In India, the accessories market took time to stride at par with its international counterpart. But with the increasing fashion sensitivity of the Indian women, it is definitely a booming market now. Anjan Chowdhury, Brand Head – Accessorize, outlines the growing market.
The conception of fashion accessories, like most things, can be traced back to arise from need-based situations which have now gradually evolved to attain a more want- based significance, adding higher value to the overall look instead of just the functionality.Fashion accessories, in last couple of years, have emerged as an independent fashion category altogether. This category has now become mainstream, shaping the journey of the consumer through the social strata in the changing brand and fashion consciousness scenario. It has now moved forward to become an integral part of every woman’s wardrobe and is no longer an additional styling element to look gorgeous or an extension to the overall fashion statement. Accessories now complement a woman’s attire in a manner which allows her to be different and unique in her own ways and stand out. At times, these versatile supplements even become the primary dressing or styling object and all others are matched around it. It is no longer a necessity but an expression of one’s personality and sense of style. Right accessorizing provides multiple options to alter styles through mix-and-match and explore fashion with a renewed look. This industry is fast changing and high fashion driven. Trend generally changes every season and in some cases, multiple times a season.
Women controls about USD 20 trillion in consumer spending globally, which could easily reach to USD 28 trillion in the next five years. In aggregate, the women’s market represents a growth opportunity bigger than India and China combined. Few years back, Boston Consulting Group conducted a study on how women felt about the services of the various brands,where over 12,000 women across 40 geographic demographies and from various income groups and walks of life responded saying they are vastly underserved. It goes without saying that there’s still a huge potential in the women’s category which still remains to be explored. Studies indicate that about 51 percent in electronics, 60 percent in automobile, 91 percent in real estate and 92 percent in vacations, the buying decision is being taken mostly by women. Six main industries with immense potential for women consumers in the immediate future are food, fitness, beauty, fashion, health care and financial services.
THE GLOBAL MARKET
Globally, women’s fashion accessories have been one of the most important and emerging categories in the fashion industry. It’s been a multi-billion dollar industry with a CAGR of close to 20 percent in the last few years. Rapid expansions of brands have been recognised in both exclusive retailing and large format retailing. Many international names in large format retailing have also been seen putting together sections showcasing fashion accessories with an objective to encourage consumers compliment with mainstream apparels. About 65 percent of the fashion accessories category is dominated by bags, belts and wallets (leather products), and watches. However, accessories beyond these like fashion jewellery and hair accessories have also got a lot of potential which brands have started to focus on, of late.
THE INDIAN FASHION ACCESSORIES MARKET
In India, fashion accessories are treated as a separate market in itself which brings in considerable amount of capital and increases its contribution to the fashion industry year on year. Currently, the market in India for fashion accessories is thriving and is expected to occupy bigger shares in years to come. The fashion accessories market in India is estimated to be close to USD 4 billion which is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 12 percent, moving the industry to over USD 10 billion mark by 2024.
Modern fashion accessories in India can be classified into the following key categories – fashion jewellery, watches, eyewear and footwear, bags, belts and wallets, fashion apparel accessories. The products largely contained in these categories are becoming more and more diversified, expanding the overall portfolio of the segment at a reasonably faster rate. In this age of globalisation and with the advent of the fashion world, modern and fusion accessories have also become very popular with the younger demographic and are being purchased all over the country. Indian consumers are increasingly accepting modern and contemporary fashion accessories as a vital part of their overall outfit choices, which in turn, is facilitating the entry of new international and domestic players into the market. Although, this is still a fledgling market and the category is expected to experience various innovations to become much more dynamic and organised than it is today. Positive economic outlook and increasing discretionary incomes mixed with the evolution in social scenarios, penetration of internet, globalisation, and the advantage of our demographics have been instrumental in propelling this segment towards higher growth rates and revenues.
THe FASHION ACCeSSORIeS MARket IN INDIA IS eStIMAteD tO Be ClOSe tO USD 4 BIllION wHICH IS eXpeCteD tO gROw At A CAGR OF ABOUt 12 peRCeNt.
India is a country with ancient fashion design traditions, yet an emerging fashion industry. It is the result of increasing global fashion and the economic boom. There is natural flare and demand for traditional Indian designs with different regional variations which led to the rise of “Ethnic Chic”. In this globalised era, the fashion segment in India, like many other traditional product segment, is undergoing an astounding change of perception. While it continues to enjoy the position of an enhancer of beauty, the new age Indian woman perceives fashion as a must, manifesting her attitude, personality and lifestyle. With mounting western influence and a focus on reviving the traditional Indian fashion elements, diversity in India sees many new product designs and concepts. While the traditional outfit and fashion is still at large across the country, the urban India is changing rapidly with international fashion trends getting adopted by the young and the glamorous in the cosmopolitan metros in India. Indian women likes to experiment and fuse western wear with Indian designer clothing, adapt western trends and Indianize them as per local trends. This has a large influence on the woman’s fashion accessories market in India. It is transforming into an Indo-western design concept giving rise to fast fashion with an ethnic taste. Bright colours, unique and bold designs with a blend of heritage, embroidery, block patterns, faux fur and prints are things to watch out for in forthcoming seasons.
ORGANISED VS UNORGANISED
Currently, the fashion accessories market in India is largely dominated by the unorganised players. Close to about 70 percent of the market would still be unorganised, which leaves a huge opportunity for the branded fashion accessories segment to scale up much quicker than other international markets. Globalisation has led many brands and formats to move in to India. The retail ecosystem in India in recent years have undergone a significant change as many new brands have put up extravagant stores taking retailing to a whole new level. The fashion space has seen a rapid growth and transformation in buying behaviour largely influenced by product design and range. Over the years now, fashion have started going beyond apparels and extended to accessories as one of the prime product category to engage consumers. In similar lines, with international markets even in India, large fashion retailers have now started to create unique design concepts and showcase the fashion accessories range along with apparels and other product, as one is incomplete without the other. The fashion accessories category will continue to grow with great momentum in the coming years. The expansion is likely to continue to tier -I and -II cities increasing the reach and density. Various other formats of retailing are getting explored to reach out to fashion sensitive consumers. The style trend today is moving away from extremely costly to reasonably priced products which allows consumers to try many different things with lower attachment value. This, in turn, will increase the propensity of consumption and the need of creating uniqueness to meet the demand of lower product lifecycle. Air travel will continue to see steady pace in its rising leading to airport retailing getting popular. More brands would opt to expand its footprints in this space with selective products offerings susceptible to the airport environment.
E-commerce will continue to have as a catalyst for growth and penetration for fashion accessories. About 72 percent of the Indian women consumer base is online buyers when compared to 68 percent of men. An increasing number of women inclined to shop online because of promotions. About 34 percent of the women will always use coupons while shopping and 58 percent of the women buy apparels online when compared to 28 percent of men. E-commerce is currently dominated by apparels and footwear with an 80 percent share to overall fashion sales online. With growing urbanisation and digitization, this channel is already very popular in tier -I cities. Higher penetration rate of internet in tier -II and tier -III cities with rise in young India will lead to tremendous growth in this space in the time to come. By 2020, India is expected to generate USD 100 billion in online retail revenue of which 35-40 percent will come from fashion e-commerce. Online fashion accessories sales are set to grow by four times from current level in next 5 years’ time. Every third query on Google is related to fashion and the trend is growing at 65 percent annually. Most of the major fashion and accessories brands have large presence in e-commerce with a substantial part of their topline coming from this channel with a promise of continued growth. Even high-end products in the fashion space are taking the e-commerce route. Many designers and high end international brands like Ritu Kumar, Manish Bansal, Coach, Miu Miu, Prada, Furla, Diesel, Tumi, Versace, Hackett London, etc., have started selling online. There is a whole new level of e-tailing waiting to boom in this space.
The various ongoing developments in the fashion retail industry reflect the optimism of the market and indicate immense potential for growth and innovation. The areas of high growth potential for the women’s accessories market are tier -I and tier -II cities, and eventually leading to the smaller towns. The prevalent white space in the accessories market in India is expected to drive existing fashion brands to diversify their accessories portfolio and shall encourage many other international accessories brands from mid to super premium to enter the market and cater to the occasion and need based demand of the diverse Indian consumer base. Since the average per capita income of the country is expected to continue rising in the coming years, consumers are expected to become more elaborate and diverse.
Owing to these developments, the organised retailing sector of the Indian fashion accessories market is expected to grow at a higher rate than other segments as consumer will increasingly consider fashion accessories as a means to reaffirm its identity and to distinguish themselves. The share and penetration of corporatized retail is bound to increase and expand, which shall lead to better quality and more number of popular designs available to the consumers. As mentioned before, the popularity of the fusion wear shall also be tapped by producing fashion accessory items across all constituent categories, blending international fashion with traditional Indian styles. The ability of brands to epitomise their product offerings through design innovation and styling will attract consumers and will determine their success in this category and also the future of fashion accessories market in India.