Coronavirus, lockdown, fear of going out, and cancellation of events have all contributed towards a new fashion shopping trend in India. The deadly and lethal Coronavirus in India has changed the overall behavior of purchase and preferences of shopping amongst the Indian buyers. The staggering Indian fashion designer outfit prices, aesthetically appealing stores, and exclusivity of wearing a designer to an event seem to take a back seat as consumers opt for economical and comfortable wear. The new fashion shopping trend in India aligns with a changed perspective and the current situation of the Indian buyer. Staying indoors has encouraged the consumers to opt for comfort followed by the concept of one-mile wear (wearing an outfit at home that could be worn within a mile's radius of the house, like a grocery store or a nearby market).
The Indian fashion industry and retail industry was flourishing and moving up the scale before the Coronavirus in India followed by a strict lockdown and increasing cases. The Indian fashion and retail industry of the domestic apparel market stood at 5.41 trillion Indian Rupees in 2018 as per Statista, showing consistent growth since 2010.
2019 shook the fashion industry and retail fashion in India. The online e-commerce stores saw a boom and the brick and mortar stores started to close down, just when everything was expected to go back to normal the second wave of Coronavirus in India changed the dynamics of online shopping and consumer buying patterns again. Currently, fashion sales online have dipped by 20% to 30% in India. Many E-Commerce giants like Flipkart, Myntra, Amazon, Shopclues have put further discounts and sales on products.
Events and marriages are the two most encouraging reasons for consumers to buy designer wear in India. As Coronavirus in India led to government restrictions on events and marriage gatherings the designer wear and luxury market started to see a dip in sales. Furthermore, the lockdown and closing down of the luxury and designer stores ensured that the offline shopping mode was off-limits for the consumers.
2019- 2020 saw a major hit in the designer sales in India, many reported a 70%- 90% sales down. The designers took their stores online or collaborated with fashion industry retail giants like ABFRL to launch new, mass, and comparatively affordable collections in the market.
As the majority of consumers shifted their preferences from exclusive designer wear offline buying to online surfing and interaction the luxury and designer industry also adapted to the social media and digital media trends to cater to the existing and potential clients. Many Indian fashion designers launched pret a porter lines and took their news and new launches, discounts, etc on their social media and digital media platforms to reach out to them seeking consumers.
A change in lifestyle that the Indian citizens are currently adapting to is integrating fitness and health into their everyday routine. The exercise regime and workout schedules are drafted and well followed by the people now. As gyms close down and the second wave of Coronavirus in India aggravates the fear of the virus and underlying health issues, the people are taking extra care of their health.
As per an article in the Financial Express the pandemic led to 84% of fitness enthusiasts' stream live to give health and fitness tips, classes, and workout plans. This further led to an increase in the demand for athleisure wear in India. The work from home culture is also accelerating the Athleisure wear buying pattern.
As per Technavio, this market segment is expected to grow by the US $80.74 billion between 2020- 2024. Owing to the increased demand and health and fitness awareness many new start-ups have entered into the segment’s market space. In the recent fashion week organized by FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week 2021, the celebrity Athiya Shetty walked for Indian fashion designer Payal Singhal who brought a version of ‘Indian Athleisure Wear’ on the ramp amidst the pandemic.
The World Economic Forum published an article mentioning that the global formal wear sales have come down, with Coronavirus in India and the world many brands operating at a global level have seen a drop of 80% in formal wear sales.
The fashion industry including the formal fashion in India is moving towards the new Work from Home Fashion trend. A recent ad campaign by BATA (Footwear brand) focused on the launch of its new collection ‘Work From Home Relaxed Workwear Collection’. Madura Fashion also introduced a Work From Home Collection on the e-commerce store of its men's wear brand ‘Peter England’.
The Work from Home Fashion Trend is all about relaxed and comfortable wear, oversized t-shirts, joggers, cargos, A-Line silhouettes, tank tops, Kurtis with pants, long dresses, etc.
Currently, most of the mass-oriented apparel brands (domestic and global) are selling their products within a range of INR 300- INR 2,500 online under sales or discount including brands like Levi's, Nike, Adidas, etc. From homegrown brands to global organizations, all have shifted their focus to online selling over offline sales. This transition is due to the new fashion shopping trend in India where consumers are surfing online and on social media platforms to explore fashion.
Although the second Coronavirus wave has led to deliveries of only essential products in some areas yet, the luring discounts and sales are not stopping the consumers from shopping with late or affected deliveries.
The new fashion shopping trend by the Indian consumers are looking for online, comfortable, stylish, and comparatively economically priced fashion products.
The purchase decision of the buyer today is influenced by the Pandemic, its after-effects and the lifestyle changes Coronavirus in India has brought along.
I Knock Fashion Desk
The new shopping trends also enlighten that many Indian consumers are looking into the sustainability in fashion factor too while purchasing fashion garments. Sustainable fashion or the use of quality products for a long time are being promoted by many brands catering to the Indian audience too. To sum it up the new fashion shopping trend is a conscious consumer opting to buy fashion in need and products that now align with the new lifestyle of the people.