You could call it a ‘champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget’. “The fast-fashion trend is gaining momentum and Max is a pioneer in this segment. There are many brands sellingvalue fashion at affordable prices, but it’s only Max which is driving fast fashion as a space,” claims Shital Mehta, CEO, Max Fashions. The brand has been introducing the latest international trends and adapting them for Indian customers at an affordable price. “On top of it, we have “eight seasons” in a year under the Max brand whereby we are able to bring in a fresh collection every 45 days. This is the reason why we have a strong loyal base of more than 10 million customers. This base of loyal customers is increasing at a rapid pace every year, he adds.
Max zoomed in on an assortment of 3,000 designs to choose from, with 70% of the stock mix changing every 45 days. Max also has an industry best merchandise sellthrough of 85%, thereby always giving something new to every customer who walks in.
To make this happen, our designers travel across all the fashion capitals of the world - Milan, Barcelona, Paris, New York - multiple times every year to find the narratives of fashion that finds resonance in India, more so among aspirational young customers. While most brands and retailers in India have been accustomed to a fashion strategy based on two seasons, our 45-member design team churning out eight seasons a year has truly established brand credentials among fashion-conscious customers.
FAMILY FASHION BRAND
Max is truly a family fashion retailer which appeals to all categories across age groups and gender with a fine equilibrium. “Our biggest strength is that all categories, including men, women and kids contribute equally to our revenue,” Mehta shares. Buyers under 35 years contribute over 70% of the total business, with the 24 to 35 age group - the young family - accounting for the lion’s share. “We are largely under a Rs 999 store and the popular price band would be around Rs 499 - Rs 799. The bulk of business happens here. About 90% of the business is under Rs 999. Our bestselling products are kids wear and women, whether looking for traditional, western wear or even accessories and footwear. The average ticket price at Max stores is Rs 1,500 - 2,000,” Mehta elaborates.
LEADING THE YOUTH PREFERENCE
It’s a known fact that Max appeals to young contemporary family, but increasing, it is also becoming a increasing, it is also becoming a destination for young and trendy fashion seeking the audience. The contribution from the youth segment is on an upswing as seen in the sales trends in the past couple of years. “To make the brand more aspirational and appeal to youth, Max has been conducting brand activation programs like “Max Design Awards” among fashion institutes in India as well as “Elite Model Hunt” (EML), which is internationally acclaimed Global model search program which has led to surge in participation across India over the years,” he added. To elevate the experience at store level, Max is working with one of the best global design consulting firm.
THE OMNI WAY
In addition, Max is also a rare brand in a sense that it has created standalone online business through www.maxfashion.com. “We already have 3 million consumers who are shopping through our Max app. We want to be present and accessible to all our customers 24x7 anytime, anywhere. Reach new markets, penetrate existing markets and tap business online – that’s the strategy, while we remain accessible virtually and physically. Further, we are not only a strong initiator of online business but can claim omnipresence too. At our stores, the entire omni-channel experience has been enabled. For instance, customers can shop online even from within the store; they can use click-and-collect, exchange or return at the store if they buy online. So, the boundaries are blurring. The idea is to provide a seamless experience to our customers,” he says.
Customer relationship executives at the store are also equipped with tablets to assist customers to choose their clothes. Digital kiosks set-up inside Max stores will enable users to browse through the entire fashion inventory available across all stores and warehouses. “With the omnichannel strategy, we will be able to cut the shortage of product varieties at physical stores and increase retail conversion rates,” he added.
INDIA’S FIRST BILLION-DOLLAR FASHION BRAND
In terms of category extension, Max is planning to add many new categories soon. “We are working on building athleisure and activewear and in 2019, we will work on lingerie and innerwear segment as these are huge opportunities,” Mehta informs. Max aims to have a network of over 500 stores encompassing 6-7 million square feet of retail space in next 3 years. “We want to be India’s first billion-dollar fashion brand in the next three years,” he says. Elaborating about the roadmap to achieve this, Mehta says, “By the end of the current financial year we are going to be a network of close to 300 stores. We are not only well-entrenched in the south but have grown rapidly in the other three regions. Apart from dominating Top 7-8 metros, we have huge opportunities in terms of reach and penetration in the Tier 2/3 cities as well as new catchments in Tier 1 cities respectively.”
Max, introduced another truly value fashion brand, EasyBuy, three years ago. And both the formats are redefining fashion retail in India