Reliance Retail is launching experiential stores, called Project Eve, where women can buy apparel, footwear, cosmetics and jewellery, all under one roof.
The experiential stores will stack in-house and global brands and compete with the likes of Shoppers Stop and Lifestyle, two executives said.
The stores will be 5,000-10,000 sq ft in size and premium to its existing department chain, Reliance Trends.
Accoding to an executive, the stores will mainly focus on urban markets such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.
The new store, however, will focus on premium wear and highfashion global brands to differentiate itself in the cluttered domestic apparel market which is driven mostly by discounts.
Ruchi Sally, Director, Elargir Solutions, said, "They should do well with all under one roof, but it is challenging as H&M and Zara have taken a huge piece with their expansion, and by being international brands, they are ahead in fashion and style. Reliance would have to really outshine with their USP as experiential retail format and not through cost or pricing."
Competition in the Indian apparel market, which is expected to touch $60 billion by 2020, is likely to intensify as more global brands join existing players such as Zara, H&M and Gap which have aggressive expansion plans to tap into the opportunities offered by India’s non-metro cities.
In the previous year, the fashion and lifestyle segment contributed about Rs 5,000 crore, or 15%, to Reliance Retail’s overall revenue of Rs 33,765 crore.
However, the segment has shrunk from 20% a year ago after Reliance Retail shifted focus to electronics and grocery. But margins in the apparel business are significantly higher than other business verticals that Reliance operates.