Accessories are the indispensable part of fashion statement overall. Fashion accessories including belts, bags, shoes and jewellery add incredible force in accentuating the looks and underline individualistic style. However, Indian accessory market is still at evolving stage and largely dominated by unorganized players.
A study from Euromonitor estimates fashion accessories registered a retail value growth of 15% in 2015 with sales touching Rs23 billion. An increasing focus on styling, looks and appearance amongst the urban youth helped drive this growth. Consumers looking out for style find it easier to spend fashion accessories due to the affordability factor.
Slowly and gradually, the market is becoming maturing with the foraying of organized payers in this segment. Ayesha Accessories, owned by German-born Jacqueline Kapur is touted as first organized brand in Indian accessory market. With a humble beginning as a glass kiosk in an Ahmedabad mall, Ayesha has come a long way.
The brand incepted about seven years ago and is operational via extensive footprint of 70 stores( including shop-in-shops) as of now. The brand is also retailed via leading e-commerce market places including Flipkart, Myntra to name a few.
The company is planning to increase the store count up to 100 by the end of this year. The brand also retails two sub brands in men’s and kid’s categories named as ‘Unknown’ and ‘lil’ star’ respectively . However, Ayesha Accessories is the biggest crowd puller among all the sub brands of the company.
Highlighting the brand journey, Jacqueline Kapur, Co-founder and President, Ayesha Accessories, said, “When we started about seven years ago, there was absolutely no organized player in this market. Whatever you could find on street was largely made available via exporters with no fashion consciousness at all. They knew nothing about on-going fashion trends.”
Going further she adds, “When we started, we had the problem that we were too advanced for the Indian market. Indian accessory market was bit delayed as compared to international counter-parts.”
Citing the example she informed, initially, the brand had introduced a line of owl accessories, which was already a very big hit in America, but the line could not get the similar response in Indian market. However, the consumption picked up quite fast.
“After two years, when I had given up on owl line suddenly there was unprecedented surge in the demand for owl line.”
Going further she added,”Following to that year we brought Neon accessories to market, we bought it here even before H&M introduced the Neon line to European market. We were bit susceptible when we introduced this line, contrary to our expectation it was our biggest sold out of that time.”
As per Kapur this was the time when people started acknowledging the brand power and there was shift from unorgnised to organized. Now we have foreign brands like Accessorize and Claire’s successfully operational in Indian accessory market.
As per her, the biggest difference between unorganised market and brand is, the brand gives you direction about what is fashionable and what are current trend. And, with the foraying of international brands like ZARA, H&M, etc, the Indian accessory market has come a long way.
“Our range is very affordable comparing to any international brand. There is no other Indian brand in accessory market which can compete with our range,” she said.
“Our earring collection is our biggest seller. Our average price-point for the jewellery is about Rs. 500 and the entry point is Rs 98,” Kapur informed.
Highlighting the role of technology she added, “The average size of our store is 350 Sq.ft . We have around 3000 SKUs in our store, and every single SKU has a different bar code, so we are able to trace category-wise what is selling better. We do quite a bit of analytics to understand, what customer buys. So based upon the results we do merchandising.”
Going further she said, “Off course, we also relay on intuition. If we would keep on relying on best sellers we would never have new trend.”
On concluding note she said, “The Indian accessory market has not made big yet but it is on its way to be one of the biggest markets in no time. India is very fashionable right now worldwide for sure!”
The company has aggressive plans to extend the brand, and shortly looking to foray Dubai market.
“Within India we are growing exceptionally; In fact, we have just launched our kiosk model. Simultaneously, we would be looking to expand our sub brands. At the moment, we are working on sun glasses line. We would remain restricted to imitation jewellery only. “She also informed that the company has no plans to foray in apparel segment.
No doubt, from looking after the merchandising of Casablanca, an interior accessory store in Pondicherry, to starting the garment division of popular Indian brand Hidesign and finally founding her with the launch of Ayesha Accessories Jacqueline Kapur has come a long way!
Clearly, with the sucess story of Ayesha we see a promising future ahead for Indian accesory market .