Reliance Trends is among the largest apparel retail chains in India with over 500 stores spread across 160 cities. What started as LFS – Large Format Stores spanning over 30,000 stores has now been reduced to as small as 2,000 sq ft and the entire model has been dismantled in to smaller sub-formats such as Trends Woman, Trends Junior and so on. The latest addition from Reliance Retail is the launch of its ethnic wear concept – “Avantra” which opens doors today 9 Sep. ’21 at Jaya Nagar in Bangalore. The store is said to have a unique and exclusive collection of Indian ethnic wear, targeted on the aspirational middle class consumers.
In Bangalore, the apparel marketplace for sarees, churidars and other ethnic wear products is centred around traditional shopping markets such as Chikpet (near Majestic Railway station), Mallweshwaram, Jaya Nagar among others. Apart from thousands of local & wholesale shops, there are also semi-organised players such as Naidu Hall, Nallis, Pothys and several up-market branded players like Manyavar & Mohe, Kalaniketan, Sumangali and so on. Many of these chains have bifurcated their business so as to cater to niche demands of discerning customers. For instance, Palam Silks, is an off-shoot from the house of the iconic “Nalli” brand which is a household name in South India for over 6 decades. While the mother store brand caters to all segments of customers, the premium varieties and customisation are offered at Palam. Many retail chains have done this to keep in tune with times so their traditional customers stay within their brand network.
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So, it is less surprising that Avantra chose Bangalore to launch this concept in the Garden City which is perhaps the most cosmopolitan in a true sense of customer ethnicity. People from almost all states of India are employed in the city, which is led by IT, ITES, Marketing, Advertising & of late, scores of Start-Up companies sprinting from here. Not surprisingly, Aditya Birla Group recently acquired iconic Indian Fashion Labels such as Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahliani and Shanthanu & Nikhil, which are namesakes of the respective Fashion Designers. The estimated market size for Ethnic wear in India is USD 20 Billion, around Rs. 90,000 Crores. No wonder, that large Retail houses are making a beeline to reach out to these customers. Pantaloon Retail, the erstwhile name of the Future Group was the first organised chain in India to bring about a wave in ethnic-wear retail, though the collections were shied off the tradition Sarees, a mainstay of the Indian festival collection. Westside from Tata Trent followed suit and between the two chains, they had the most amount of market share in the organised segment up to 2010. Over time, Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop and many local chains expanded their stores giving a fillip to the category. Trends, earlier known as Reliance Trends, has not only scaled up to become the largest network of apparel stores in India, but with smart positioning, attractive pricing, interesting choice of locations (towns as well as localities) and of course with various formats, has been setting new benchmarks in the category. Exciting times ahead, for customers especially, even as they get spoilt for choice!