American brand Aéropostale is trying to find a firm footing in the evolving Indian retail market. COO of the company that brought it in India tells Nidhi Raj Singh about its plans to floor youngsters in metros and small towns, and what sets the brand apart in its category.
Why India? Why now?
India is expected to become the world’s youngest emerging economy by 2020, with around 64 per cent of its population in the working age group. This young consuming class is open to experimenting with fashion brands. India is expected to become the world’s youngest emerging economy by 2020, with around 64 per cent of its population in the working age group. This young consuming class is open
to experimenting with fashion brands.
What is on offer?
Aéropostale offers true American fashion. We have taken our timeless elements and motifs and made them relevant for the Indian customers with improved quality. Our Fall 2016 collection has ‘Seriously Stretchy’ denims for women and ‘Reflex’ denims for men.
Global brands are making a beeline to India. How is Aéropostale different?
Before we decided to introduce Aéropostale in India, we invested in an in-depth research to understand the market. Currently there’s no brand in India that directly talks to the youth and we’ve great potential to fill that gap.
What’s your marketing strategy?
It’s simple. We’d reach out to the youth between 14 and 25 years of age and offer accessible price points. We’re engaging with our young customers on all possible platforms–music festivals, college fests, shopping malls, cafes, contests and social media. We launch four lines in a year—spring, summer, fall, holiday—with a starting price point of `599.
Will India prove to be a trump card for the brand that has seen some tough times in the past?
Definitely yes. The Indian fashion retail industry has witnessed several fascinating changes and challenges in recent years, which are indicators of the country’s evolving market. The challenges need to be addressed in prudent manner in order to harness the concomitant benefits.
Currently, we’ve six exclusive retail outlets (two in Mumbai and one each in Delhi, Noida, Bangalore and Indore), and two shop-in-shop in Jaipur and Bhopal. We’ll open 10 stores in next three months. Our plan is to position Aéropostale as a brand that connects with the youth, even in tier 1 and tier 2 cities.