The dampened mood has not affected India apparel retail biggies and they are going ahead with their plans of expanding their footprint across India. For instance, Shoppers Stop launched as many as 11 stores in the current financial year and is planning to add more by taking the tally of its stores to 49. Reliance Trends, another big name in apparel retail opened 30 new stores in 2011.
Though apparel retail was hit by the levy of 10 per cent excise duty on branded apparel, high raw material costs and low consumer demand last year, big retailers are optimistic about the prospects this year. Since the India retail industry is expected to grow and organised retail has opportunities to capture the market pie, these retailers are implementing their retail expansion plans venturing into tapped and untapped smaller towns that are showing increase in spending power and brand awareness.
With raw material costs down, retailers are buoyant about the new year. According to the analysts, even this year would be tough for apparel retail but big retailers will have to keep investing in retail expansion to reach out to the wider audiences.