Reliance Brands sees strong luxury demand from non-Metro consumers
Reliance Brands is seeing strong signs of recovery from the second wave of coronavirus in its bridge-to-luxury and luxury segments with rural customers boosting sales.
Luxury fashion brands are bouncing back from the second wave of Covid-19 at a swifter rate then the first wave, aided by positive sentiment from rural areas, Reliance Brands’ managing director Darshan Mehta told ET Now in an interview. Along with luxury goods, children’s products and women’s comfort wear are currently doing well with luxury consumers turning their focus to more timeless, durable pieces.
“As always, Indian consumers have surprised us,” Mehta told ET Now. “In the same month last year, we were recovering from the Covid first wave. The second recovery has been astonishingly better. All I can say is 'fingers crossed'. Having said that, we still have 20% of our stores locked down in states like Maharashtra which has not opened up. But wherever they opened up, it is a quite astounding recovery.”
The business used video chatting services including Zoom and WhatsApp to engage with luxury shoppers and enable them to purchase items remotely, while shops were shut. Distance selling continues to have a positive effect on sales, according to Mehta. The business is also holding a trial of live stream commerce, a popular method of retailing in China, where a celebrity or influencer promotes shoppable products live online.
Markets currently doing well for the business include Delhi and Chandigarh and numerous tier 2 and 3 towns, especially for Reliance Brands’ online luxury portal Ajio Luxe.
“Small town customers have two things that generally the customers in the bigger cities do not have,” said Mehta. “One is time... They have time and their disposable purchasing power is much higher given the fact that cost of rent, cost of living overall, maybe education is much lower and of course there is no travel cost.”
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