Discretionary spends down, timeless fashion strong
There is a marked change in spending patterns and consumer preferences, in the world of fashion due to the impact of the current pandemic
There is a marked change in spending patterns and consumer preferences, in the world of fashion due to the impact of the current pandemic. Digging deeper into people's needs along with leveraging the the power of online technology, is how a Delhi-based fashion house plans to stay relevant in the 'new normal'.
Tanvi Malik and Shivani Poddar, co-founders of fashion house High Street Essentials - the parent company behind women's fashion brands, FabAlley and Indya - underline what has changed, and how they have revamped their brand accordingly.
Discretionary spending on non-essential lifestyle categories has seen a significant slow-down post-COVID-19. However, their online platforms have picked up well since Unlock 1.0 began. We are currently at a 75-80 percent pre-COVID online revenue levels and are slated to grow to 100 percent in the next 2-3 months.
Their brand-owned stores and departmental store shop-in-shops have seen a partial resumption over the last four weeks, with about 60 percent of our 400+ offline touch points being currently open. However, the fear of being in crowded public spaces such as malls and high streets shops has led to a very low footfall. Offline retail will probably start seeing a more significant recovery
Customers are now preferring recession-proof categories such as classic shirts, timeless separates, and dresses as opposed to trend-led product lines. Occasion-wear, evening wear, and party wear have taken the biggest beating as social distancing becomes the new normal, but we have seen a spurt in sales of comfort-wear categories such as lounge-wear, night-wear and breathable bottom wear. Along with that, since WFH is a way of life now, formal top-wear such as shirts and blouses have also seen a surge.
Over the last few years, the convenience and democratic access that online channels offer, along with an explosion of social media platforms, have helped companies understand that brand salience is better built through offering differentiated products, content, and delivering a stellar customer experience online and hone their digital channels accordingly.
Along with providing their customers design-differentiated, chic, and affordable clothing, they are committed to constantly bettering their shopping experience with us. These past few months under lockdown have allowed us to reflect, re-evaluate and rethink strategies. They took this time to dig deeper into what our customers need and realised that as more people turn to the digital way of life where product options are aplenty, a stellar customer experience is what they are looking at.
The idea behind the personalised solutions of Fab Fix was to ease the customers journey by making it quicker and more convenient and delivering just what they want in a bundled format.
Tops, dresses, and accessories are what customers typically need the most and refresh their wardrobe with every month. Fab Fix boxes consist of one of each, bundled together at 50 percent off, with an accessory as a surprise gift. If bought individually from their website, the same three pieces would cost more than double.
As online shopping accelerates in this COVID-19 era, they are focussing our energies in the same direction. They are looking at expanding our D2C (Direct-to0Customer) footprint with new technology-led initiatives such as Fab Fix and an AI-based catalogue curation along with a few more projects.