Reliance plans major expansion of its fashion stores & integrate them with its online business

Reliance plans major expansion of its fashion stores & integrate them with its online businessReliance Industries plans to grow the number of low-cost Reliance Trendsfashion stores across India to 2,500 from 557 over the next five years and integrate them with its online business, two people briefed on the plans said.

The expansion, which has not been reported before, is the latest move by the conglomerate’s billionaire owner Mukesh Ambani to grab a dominant share of Indian consumer spending in a struggle with rivals, particularly e-commerce giants Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart.

Reliance’s plans to diversify into e-commerce and expand in fashion come on the heels of India’s new foreign investment curbs that have dealt at least a temporary blow to Amazon and Flipkart.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in December modified foreign direct investment rules for e-commerce, barring online retailers from selling products via vendors in which they have an equity interest, and also from making deals with vendors to sell exclusively on their platforms.

Ambani, Asia’s richest man, founded Reliance Retail in 2007 to transform his petroleum behemoth into a consumer-facing conglomerate.

Targeting 300 cities

Expectations that Ambani will increase bets on retail have been growing, and the latest plan was presented at meetings earlier this year, the sources said, citing proposals the company shared with retail advisors. Reliance Retail did not reply to an email seeking comment.

The expansion plan should allow Reliance Trends, which sells accessories as well as clothing, to rapidly grow its private labels – the retailer’s own brands – the sources said.

Reliance Trends would be in 300 cities in five years, from 160 now, said the second person briefed on the plan.

A Reliance executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, said integrating the availability of private labels with its e-commerce venture and penetrating deeper into smaller, tier 3 and 4 cities is the next level of growth for Reliance Trends. The executive did not confirm the store expansion plan.

Last year, Reliance Trends opened over 100 stores, according to the executive. “With the new commerce venture that we have planned, it will even be easier to sell our private labels from even third-party stores,” the executive said.

Ambani’s so-called “new commerce” venture aims to connect small and mid-sized merchants with his retail network and warehouses, helping them better manage inventory as well as boost sales of Reliance’s private labels.

Both the sources declined to be identified as the plans have not been publicly announced.

Cheap prices for India’s youth

India has the world’s largest population in the 18-35 year age group at 440 million people, constituting nearly half of its workforce, global consultancy Deloitte said in a recent report. With rising use of the Internet and smartphones, e-commerce retailers have doled out discounts to lure people to shop online for goods as varied as basic groceries and large electronic devices.

“The millennial opportunity is what every retailer is looking at. Reliance is no different,” said a retail industry veteran and independent advisor to several retailers.

Retailers tend to make better margins out of their own brands than third-party brands because they can keep a much sharper eye on costs of production and associated marketing.

“Reliance Trends’ aggressive expansion will see products such as private labels available across multi-brand outlets and smaller format stores as well,” said independent retail consultant Govind Shrikhande when asked how Reliance will manage the aggressive expansion.

Almost 80% of Reliance Trends’ revenue comes from private labels. A team of designers work across seven centres in India and one in London to design items such as jeans, trousers, shirts and t-shirts, the company executive said.

“They are looking at global fashion and then they are looking at how that fashion can be adopted for India at a price which is affordable to churn out our private labels,” said the executive.

[“source=tech.economictimes.indiatimes”]

Streetwear Designer Benny Gold Closes His Store and Heads to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

Over the past 15 years, Benny Gold became one of the premier streetwear designers in San Francisco by parlaying his fame as a skateboarder into his own eponymous brand of shirts, hats and outerwear. His flagship Valenica Street shop became a tourist destination and mainstay of the city’s historic Mission District.

But this week, Gold surprised the Bay Area skate community and his thousands of social media followers with the news that he would be closing the store and ending most production on the brand.

Why? To make a midcareer pivot to advertising.

Gold has joined Goodby Silverstein & Partners as a designer. He will report to award-winning GS&P design director Ryan Self, who is himself a recent transplant from MullenLowe London having joined the Omnicom agency in a wave of 2018 hires following new business wins including Pepsi, BMW and Liberty Mutual.

In a statement to Hypebeast that was republished as a personal letter to followers this week, Gold wrote that he made the move primarily to take on new creative challenges.

“I would rather bring [the brand] to a close and celebrate it’s life with integrity rather than push it to become something I no longer believe in,” the note read. Gold added, “I am a graphic artist at heart and all I’ve ever wanted to do is create meaningful things, which is why I’m thrilled to join GS&P.”

The brand will not disappear, however, even if the recently released line will be its last full collection.

The Benny Gold digital store will live on as its founder continues to produce limited-edition specialty products.

Gold’s best-known designs among skate and sneaker aficionados include the 2006 Nike “Huf quake” series, which was created to commemorate the centennial of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, as well as logos for streetwear publisher Highsnobiety and coffee brand Four Barrel.

Beyond Nike, Gold has produced work for brands including Adidas, Teva, JanSport, Red Wing Shoes and Miller High Life.

“As a fan of graffiti art, I’ve admired Benny’s work over the years,” said GS&P chief creative officer Margaret Johnson. “He will immediately bring an incredible artistic dimension and intimate understanding of urban culture to GS&P.”

[“source=adweek”]

No liquidity crisis in any segment barring gems & jewellery sector: Satish Marathe

Barring the gems and jewellery sector, there is no liquidity crisis for any segments in the economy, Satish Marathe, the government-nominee member on the central board of the Reserve Bank, said on November 29.

He also said the spike in the cost of funds is due to an increased risk perception, and not due to lack of liquidity in the system.

It can be noted that different perceptions about liquidity were one of the key triggers for the recent public spar between government and RBI, with the former calling for special windows for the affected sectors like NBFCs, MSMEs among others and the latter not heeding to it.

The issue reached such a flash-point that government initiated a never-before-used Section 7 of the RBI Act to formally direct central bank to implement its instructions but at the November 19 board meeting both the sides climbed down averting a major crisis.

“Concerns were being expressed about lack of liquidity, but no one is shouting for liquidity today,” Marathe, who comes from the co-operative banking sector, said speaking at a seminar at the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh here this evening.

He claimed that during the past 15 days, the situation has improved and the only problem is the increase in interest rates, as the cost of funds has gone up from 7 percent in recent past to 8 percent now.

Non-bank lenders used to get support from bodies like mutual funds and insurance companies “easily” earlier, he said, talking about the change in the current scenario.

“The only one sector that has some problems due to liquidity is gems & jewellery. Hopefully, banks will release more money to the sector. If money is not released, then it will be difficult to get exports,” he said.

It can be noted that the government has repeatedly complained about lack of liquidity and sought special interventions from RBI in the run-up to a crucial meet of the central board last week.

In fact, one of the key points among the 12 points agenda that the government had listed in the three letters North Block shot off to the RBI by October 10, was liquidity crunch being faced by NBFCs, MSMEs in particular and the overall system in general.

Marathe said macroeconomic fundamentals are strong enough with fiscal deficit and current account deficit being under control. Our forex reserves are the sixth largest in the world and are sufficient to take care of 10 months of imports, he said and exuded confidence that the rupee will appreciate to 65 against the dollar.

He said headline inflation will narrow to 3.50 percent by November or December.

[“source=gsmarena”]

Dolce & Gabbana’s Brand Reputation ‘In Rags’ Over China Ad Outrage

Pedestrians are reflected in a mirror as signage for Dolce & Gabbana Srl is displayed at the company’s store on Canton Road in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Hong Kong, China. (Photocredit: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg).© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

Trust matters. And, with Dolce & Gabbana (D&G), the Italian luxury fashion house, having its products withdrawn from Chinese e-commerce sites as a backlash grows against a controversial advertising campaign showing videos a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta and pizza with chopsticks, one wonders what Milan-based D&G was actually thinking.

China represents one of the biggest luxury markets globally. Indeed, according to a recent report by the consultancy Bain & Company, the luxury goods market in mainland China has been forecast to grow by 20%-22% this year, with the country accounting for the bulk of the global growth this year that has been put at 6%-8% and reach €276-€281 billion (c.$313-$319 billion).

And, by 2025 that number could swell to $390 billion (c.$442 billion), the Bain & Company study has posited. Hardly small fry.

Now this all rather resonated with me as this past week I was in Milan, the fashion capital of Italy, and one of the so-called “Big 4” along with New York, Paris and London, attending an event focussed on corporate communications and branding.

It is not the first time D&G has courted controversy. D&G sparked controversy in 2016 when it described an item of footwear in its spring/summer collection a “slave sandal.”

And, last April the brand posted a campaign on Weibo, which depicted impoverished people in run-down areas of Beijing pictured with D&G models ahead of a catwalk show in the city. The images were slammed for stereotyping Chinese history by showing old parts of the city, as opposed to more modern depictions of Beijing.

Local celebrities had called for the brand to be boycotted amid brand crisis deepening when messages allegedly written by D&G co-founder Stefano Gabbana, which included dubious and offensive comments about Chinese people, went viral.

[“source=forbes]

2018 Maruti Ertiga Official Accessories Includes Black Alloy Wheels, Touchscreen Infotainment System & More

 

2018 Maruti Ertiga Official Accessories Includes Black Alloy Wheels, Touchscreen Infotainment System & More

  • The 2018 Ertiga can be had with blacked out alloy wheels or stylised wheel covers
  • Maruti is offering chrome finished exterior accents and PU seat covers for a more upmarket feel
  • Those who want a predefined package can choose either the ‘Ambitious’ or ‘Indulge’ package

Although the new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga gets a decent amount of features right from the base variants, it misses out on some feel-good features like artificial leather seat covers for the sake of competitive pricing. But fret not, here’s a list of official accessories that Maruti is offering with the second-gen Ertiga. These include styling packages which cover both the exterior and interior of the MPV along with a variety of car cleaning products that can be bought separately.

2018 Maruti Ertiga Official Accessories Includes Black Alloy Wheels, Touchscreen Infotainment System & More

  • If you want your new Ertiga to look sporty, you can choose from front and rear lip spoilers, a roof mounted spoiler (Rs 4499) and side skirts (Rs 3199 to Rs 3799).
  • Other exterior updates include blacked out alloy wheels with pitchfork-shaped spokes for Rs 22,000 and wheel covers for Rs 1,600. These, paired with the above-mentioned exterior kit, can make the Ertiga look sporty. Although a blacked out grille would have complemented this body kit well, only the base variant of the Ertiga gets it. Prices of all the body kits are pegged at Rs 25,990.
  • If the above accessories don’t suit your taste, you can opt from a list of chrome finished accessories like garnishes for the headlamp, fog lamp, tail lamp, rear bumper and the number plate. These bits and pieces are priced in the range of Rs 750 to Rs 3,799, which is quite acceptable for the added bling they offer.

2018 Maruti Ertiga Official Accessories Includes Black Alloy Wheels, Touchscreen Infotainment System & More 2018 Maruti Ertiga Official Accessories Includes Black Alloy Wheels, Touchscreen Infotainment System & More

Interiors

  • None of the variants of the 2018 Ertiga are available with leather upholstery. However, you can have the seat covers finished in PU leather, Premium PU leather or PU and fabric upholstery. These range from Rs 8,870 to Rs 10,490, which is a good deal when you consider the fact that it covers all three rows.

2018 Maruti Ertiga Official Accessories Includes Black Alloy Wheels, Touchscreen Infotainment System & More

[“source=ndtv”]