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COVID-19 creates new avenues in retail for luxury industry

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The ongoing situation has caused significant changes in consumer buying patterns. They have shifted from conspicuous buying to conscious buying, which is why the brands will have to take strategic measures to get back on track. 

COVID-19 cast a dark shadow on the entire world, crippling the economy and pushing many industries into oblivion. However, there is one good that the pandemic has done to the luxury industry, which is creating new markets.

Luxury goods and services have always been an elite affair, something which has always been considered for the upper segment, but the universal lockdown resulting due to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus induced the industry to rethink its working patterns. Ateliers, that once used produce eponymous scarves and perfumes have shifted their entire focus on producing face masks, sanitizers, and ventilators to contribute in the fight against the contagious disease. 

Big names like Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Prada among others acted mindfully, understanding the responsibility they carry towards the society as the world’s leading players of fashion. But, as gradually things are easing down on the retail front, with many countries resuming their markets and allowing retailers to reopen, these brands must fashion out great strategies in order to re-build their patronage. As per recent reports by Bain & Co., and McKinsey, global luxury sales could drop up to 35 percent by the end of 2020.

The ongoing situation has caused significant changes in consumer buying patterns. They have shifted from conspicuous buying to conscious buying, which is why the brands will have to take strategic measures to get back on track. 

Smita Jain, Director – MGLUXM, SP Jain School of Global Management says, “The impact may vary subjectively with regard to the country or the target population.” “Most of these workers represent the lower-class income segment who have relocated from their hometowns to find a better-paying opportunity. Due to the pandemic they somehow suddenly find themselves out of work and under lockdown. However, the large conglomerate groups are paying their employees or at least providing food and shelter during this crisis. This situation may continue for a couple of months given that work from home option is impossible given their nature of jobs,” she explained. 

DIGITIZATION IS THE KEY

Luxury has always been bespoke, offering customers incredible experiences but this pandemic has kept the patrons away from the affluent stores. Therefore, social media and virtual platforms are the only way to stay connected with customers. Online channels have stayed dominant during the months-long lockdown, influencing many brands to increase their presence on these channels. 

“Most luxury brands are resorting to heightened digital engagement. Storytelling, dynamic visuals which depict the brand savoir faire, history, and provide an irreplaceable meaning to luxury consumers are the focal point of every luxury brand’s communication strategy today. We will see a new era open up for luxury brands, while most of the brands are still unconventional and flexible in their approach towards connecting with consumers, it will be interesting to see how the traditional brands can come out of this,” Smita Jain said, adding, “This lockdown is apt for luxury brands to reinvent themselves, to digitize their processes and enhance their systems and technology. This will allow them to develop operational efficiencies and provide personalized experiences to the consumers.”

The convenient nature had attracted youngsters from all walks of life to shift to the rising digital retail, however, the pandemic brought people from all age groups to a realization that apart from being a convenient medium, online platforms offer greater security in the zero-contact era. 

WHAT IS IN THE FUTURE?

COVID-19 has forced luxury brands to pivot their trajectories, not only from the demand side but also from the supply side. China, is currently the manufacturing hub of most of the luxury retailers, with 70% of the global luxury goods like handbags, leather goods, etc. being produced in the country.  This decades-old tradition will, however, take a break. Disrupted supply chains and the infamous outbreak of the COVID-19 from the Wuhan city of China contributed to this momentous decision. Thus, the supply chain will experience a gradual transition to other countries like Vietnam, Indian, and Taiwan.   

“Ultimately the symbolic value of a luxury isn’t going to change. Most of these luxury brands have been around for hundreds of years. There is always going to be demand for something that is handcrafted, premium quality, and of lasting value. Overall, this may cause luxury brands to return to their roots and indulge in more storytelling and emotional engagement,” she concludes.

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Fashion

Flipkart’s Wear The Next campaign plans toboost fashion with Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor

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23 January: In order to boost their fashion segment, e-commerce platform Flipkart has launched the 6th edition of its campaign titled India Ka Fashion Capital. This campaign will feature reputed and well-known Bollywood actors Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor. The theme of this campaign is one-of-its-kind as Flipkart has chosen Wear the Next theme for this campaign.

This theme aims to inspire customers across the country to buy the latest fashionable products from the e-commerce marketplace Flipkart. For 8 weeks, the campaign will run on television and digital platforms in order to reach the maximum audience. The online product selling platform is partnering with several brands and new sellers to strengthen its fashion vertical.

Sharing the campaign requirement, vice president at Flipkart Fashion, Nishit Garg, in a statement mentioned that consumers nowadays search for a value for money product. He said, “Consumers today are fashion-conscious, value-seeking and aspire to own the latest celebrity fashion trends. We believe in addressing these needs meaningfully by collaborating with the best in the industry and are constantly onboarding new brands, sellers, and partners to enhance the customer shopping experience. Through our latest campaign featuring Ranbir and Alia, we want to inspire consumers across the country to explore the latest trends and create the style that they have always wished for.”

Also read: Fossil Group launches virtual watch try-on feature without an additional app

Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor can be seen in the Flipkart Wear The Next campaign advertisements while they show off their trendy and fashionable outfits. Have a look at one of the ads:

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Beautify your Winter look with these accessories| Trends for Winter fashion

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Winter fashion, 22 January: Stepping out of the house when the temperature drops, that too in style, turns out to be one hell of a difficult task in winters. Beating the chilling winters requires something more than just inner wears and furred coats, you would require additional accessories to keep you both warm and stylish.

With winters breaking all records this time, girls might be suffering as they have to carry out proper clothing and fashion both on-point simultaneously, doing what is next-level strenuous. We cannot even think of removing the bundle of cloth layers the winters are making us wear then why not dress with them on? Indeed, the winter fashion struggle is real but we can make it happen if we want to show off our fashionable outfits in style and stay frost-free.

Check out some of our recommendations below:

Chokers

Classy yet elegant, chokers magnify your look no matter if you wear it in any weather. Pair your cloth or ready-made chokers with your formal look, long coats, or front open leather jackets. Surprise your mates with this look and pull-off the winter fashion in style.

Silver oxidised earrings

There’s no outfit an earring cannot beautify! Literally, every girl misses wearing earrings especially in winters but did no one tell you that your plain winter coat required the charm in form of a silver lining? Yes, it does. Use your silver oxidised earrings with your plain winter outfits, these make you look simple and adorable.

Stoles and scarfs

Seems like no one mentioned about this one too! Scarfs are responsible for making you look gorgeous and warm like nothing else. Personally, I would suggest you buy colourful boho scarfs, these would not only add charm to your winter look but would make you feel good about yourself. Also, scarfs are the best way to protect your neck and chest from the direct chilling wind.

Boots

Heeled ones or flat, it is your call but boots keep you all warm, cosy and classy, of course. Furred boots help keep the feet warm and protected from frost. Your feet are the coldest body part and the one who faces challenges in getting proper warmth. Amid the struggle, your regular shoes do not contribute much in providing them with the proper warmth and fashion look. However,, here is where the long boots play a vital role.

Furred jackets

Furred jackets make you feel cosy, sweet and warm altogether. Furred jackets are one way to keep yourself protected from the extreme cold weather and also pull off your winter look in style. Therefore, furred jackets are girl’s favourite and preferred all over.

Cosy pom beanies or hats for winter fashion, your choice

Depending upon your choice, protect your ears and head area with a beanie. Dress with a headcover.

Also read: Spanish brand Desigual expands online presence with Tata CLiQ Luxury

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Fossil Group launches virtual watch try-on feature without additional app

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22 January: Never have you ever have had such experience. Luckily now with Fossil group, you can. Fossil Group has recently launched its new Virtual Watch Try-on experience across various brand channels including Fossil.com and Watch Station. Fossil Group is working partnership expansion with Tangiblee as the team rolled-put this web-based, and reality feature for watches.

This feature does not require the users to use or download another app or additional technical equipment to check the watch size. In just a few steps and taps, the consumers can place any Fossil watch on their wrist using the scaled accuracy. The Fossil team and Tangiblee wanting to bestow a unique user experience by maintaining the highest level of accuracy. This new development can be experienced by only following a two-step process.

Also read: Rent N Flaunt launches new affordable rental plans

The first step requires the users to measure the width of their wrist with their phone screens. The calibration or measurement step is not required for Tangiblee’s algorithms to work properly but assures that the wrist is measured accurately.

The second step calls for a picture of the user’s wrist using which the watch is virtually placed on the image. The user can slide the watch back and forth on the wrist, zoom in and out on the watch dial.

Tangiblee’s CEO, Eliad Inbar, said, “We’re excited to partner with such a wonderful collaborative partner and cannot wait to see what the usage & performance data reveals in terms of Fossil customers’ feedback as well as the impact to Fossil’s bottom-line.”

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