Indian retailers are upbeat on the private label business, buoyed by the acceptance from Indian consumers. Pantaloon, Wills, RPG, Big Bazaar etc after tasting the success in the value segment now want to introduce private labels in Lifestyle segment where margins are still higher.
Mr. Atul Chand of ITC’s Lifestyle retail business said,
There has been a significant amount of lifestyle changes, coupled with an evolving in people’s tastes and preferences. The market is moving from price0linked to value-linked, where customers are placing more value on design and creativity. Retailers now see tremendous opportunity in the upscale market.
The special occasion wear segment in Wills Lifestyle contributes 15% of revenues. Future Group has rolled out premium Lombard and Urbana. RPG retail on the other hand is planning to introduce ready-to-eat preimum products but not at a premium pricing.
Mr. Kishore Biyani of Future Retail said,
The store also needs to play-up the brand with in-store promotions so that it can compete with other mainstream brands in the category.
However, we received contradicting views from Mr. Kurien of Reliance,
It will take another 5 years for the market to mature and accept in-store premium private labels. Reliance Retail also has plans for the same but only after they have established a stronger PAN-India presence.
OK, the last sentence of Mr. Kurien explains it all as Mukesh Ambani took his retail bosses to task in late Feb-08 for having opened stores in just single digits after 15 months of operations 🙂