The rise in per capita income has transformed the Indian wedding into a lavish affair. It is a perfect opportunity for retailers as well as shopping centres to escalate revenues along with footfalls. To tap the potential, malls lending all sorts of support to make the event biggest shopping extravaganza. Though, this time wedding season is following under the shadow of Goods Service tax (GST) and demonetization which has certainly affected the consumers’ sentiment. However, malls seem to be unaffected and well prepared to lure the wedding shoppers. Let’s shed light on how they will make it ‘BIG’ this time..
HAS GST CHANGED ANYTHING?
There is a mixed reaction pertaining to GST effect where some malls agrees the negative impact; others look it in a positive connotation. As per Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific India, “This wedding season people will feel the effect of GST on certain items and will have to shell out more while buying jewellery for hiring venues like hotels/marriage palaces, catering and other related services etc. The estimated cost of a wedding in India, including all expenses, could range anywhere between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 8 crore, with people spending one-fifth of their entire wealth on an average during the ceremonies. On the other hand, destination weddings or the wedding tourism sector in general is not likely to face much difficulty on the account of GST.”
Speaking on same, Anil Malhotra, Executive Director, Elante Mall, said, “We have not felt any negative impact of GST. People continue to shop as ever before. However, we have witnessed a steady surge in the usage of plastic money over the past one year or so. We are all geared up for the upcoming wedding season, too. Having stocked up the latest trending attires, the retailers are raring to go”
Going further Malhotra informed that the mall had seen a positive trend this Diwali. People have shopped across categories at Elante and we have seen an appreciable spike during the festive season.
Shedding light on same, Mukesh Kumar, Sr. Vice President, Infiniti Mall, said, “There was a slight dip in the sale in the month of July when GST got implemented however, it started picking up from the October Month. The start of festive season also had a positive impact on the sentiment resulting in upswing. Retailers are generally expecting a good wedding season. The growth may not have been substantial on YOY but there has not been any major dip.”
Expressing the similar views, Rima Pradhan, Sr. Vice President- Marketing, Viviana malls asserts, “We have not felt any major impact, In fact, during Diwali season the mall had witnessed the surge of 20% in overall revenues.”
Pradhan also informed that the mall will be hosting a wedding carnival starting from 15th November. The event will be happening at mall atrium; more than 62 brands will be participating in this wedding saga. To make the event successful the mall would announcing exciting schemes and offers for wedding shoppers.
BRANDS WHICH ESCALATE FOOTFALLS
Malls are witnessing a shift in the buying trend. Along with traditional ethnic wear, fusion wear, dresses and gowns have started picking up as far as wedding shopping is concerned. Apart from fashion, customers are seen spending on Jewellery& watches, perfumes and cosmetics and footwear. “Traditional Indian bridal wear like lehngas and richly embroidered suits continue to be the most sought after. Since cosmetics and footwear form an integral part of the wedding ensemble, the sales of cosmetics and footwear brands also pick up considerably during the wedding season,” said Malhotra from Elante mall.
He also shared that the mall has been consistently witnessing a 15-20 per cent increase in footfalls during the wedding season and this year, it will be no different.
“Cosmetics, Salon, Jewellery, Shoes and accessories does well during the wedding season,” informed Kumar. As per him brands such as Ritu Kumar, Neerus, Ethnicity, Global Desi, Caratlane, MIA by Tanishq, Nakshatra, Raymond, Blackberrys and Park avenue to name the few generate maximum traction when it comes to wedding shopping. Speaking on footfalls he said, “Generally, we see a 10 - 15% YOY in footfalls during the wedding and festive season.”
Speaking on same, Bansal said, “Though ethnic continues to be popular for occasion wear but western wear and fusion wear have increased in popularity and demand. weddings have numerous formal events these days therefore we have seen an increase in demand for ocassion wear across categories like westerm fusion, India, traditional for these celebartions.lately, Brides carry themselves flamboyantly in bold red colour and shimmer make up and on the other hand pastel colours, embroidered lehnga’s and matte make up adds lavish and extravaganza look to the day, what matters the most is picking up the most desirable as there is no right or wrong for your day.”
“We are expecting an increase of around 18 – 20 % this wedding season as well. Last year also we had an impressive run and we have put some big plans in motion, therefore hope to provide our customers with more, better and bigger options this season as well,” Bansal informed.
DESIGNER WEAR VS TRADITIONAL BRANDS
As the Indian shopper matures, the market has seen shifts in consumer preferences and buying patterns. Fashion is an ever evolving and vibrant segment. Indian consumers are getting more and more conscious regarding their looks. Their preferences have grown towards ethnic apparels but with a touch of modernity. Hence, the designer wear brands are also picking up. Speaking on same, Anil said, “Given the diverse preferences of the Indian population, both designer and traditional wear do great business. In fact, designer and traditional wear complement each other at wedding functions.”
“Indian consumers are demonstrating a distinctively higher preference towards luxury high street and fashion brands. There seems to be an ever increasing and growing appetite for all things luxury thus making India a growing aspirational market for international luxury and fashion brands. As the integration of the Indian consumer with global trends continues, international fashion brands can expect to find the country an increasingly fruitful ground for growth,” informed Bansal.
Clearly, wedding is such occasion where retail brands and shopping malls can go hand in hand in order to leverage the opportunity and serve the best to time pressed and tight pocket shoppers.