Take us through the journey of Greenways?
Greenways has been in the business for 77 years now. My grandfather and his brothers started Greenways back in 1942 when the entire sector was unorganized, craftsmen were remotely located, and it was a challenge to gather material that was available in different parts of the country. They came through all the challenges then and built their first store in Connaught Place, New Delhi and that is how we became a brand. Today, Greenways is a one-stop shop for all kinds of fabric and dresses, available in a variety of price range, and prints & embroidery so there’s something for everyone who visits our stores.
From one flagship store to another, we are gradually moving to places; as of now we have opened stores in Pitampura, New Delhi; DLF Mall of India, Noida; and Ambience Mall – Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. We are also planning to cover more of Delhi NCR region as we wish to bring the variety of international trends to more women.
What’s your assessment about ethnic wear market in India? What are the growth drivers?
Irrespective of the western influence on Indian women, I have observed the sales go up for ethnic wear around festivals or the wedding season. Looking at these trends, it is obvious that the ethnic wear market is maintain its place. It is so flourishing that women’s wear segment covers about 82% of the entire ethnic-wear market. If we further divide this segment, we would find that saree is perhaps the most popular among the other options, taking almost 33% of the share in the collection.
The market has had a multiple growth driver lately, some of which are – increasing female population in the country, rise in female workforce, finding acceptance among younger women like the college going ones and the rising trend of pairing traditional outfits with western styles in both casual and formal wear. These factors have helped players like us to bring innovation in the industry and to tap the rising demand for woman’s ethnic wear.
How consumer behavior has evolved as far as ethnic fashion is concerned?
Women’s fashion has evolved over the time and currently the ethnic wear has become the biggest driver in the industry. Today, women want a variety of handloom, prints, and fabric in their wardrobe, one for each occasion. Their perception towards ethnic wear has changed so much so that even the younger lot wants to experiment with these kind of clothes as they believe its no more boring. Also, the internet has had a great influence on women. They are now exposed to the latest fashion trends and tutorials which show them how to experiment with fusion looks. They look for ethnic dresses with variety of prints, short kurtis with straight pants and more.
Their search patterns have changed too, like for bottoms they want pants, palazzos and skirts while the search for kurtis have now shifted to floor length dresses, anarkalis and asymmetric flare patterns. Today, fashion is no more uncomfortable but a lot more breathable and stylish trend which can be followed at workplaces or at social gatherings.
Who’s your target audience? Which range and price range is high in demand?
Our only audience is women, and by that we mean women of every age group. Our collection is not biased towards one age group because we have something for every kind of women. We have suits, kurtas, and sarees in all kinds of fabric available in the market. We often come across customers who are looking for a variety of pieces for their wardrobe, clothes they could wear to work or to a family dinner or to a wedding reception. In order to have enough options, we ensure we offer them all kinds of prints and patterns on a wide range of handloom fabric, so they never run out of options. As for the prince range, we have varieties starting from Rs. 1,000 moving up to Rs. 2,00,000.
According to you, what are the latest trends in the ethnic wear market?
New favorites among women these days is fusion and accessorizing. One could simply throw in a blazer, wear a crop top or a tube or literally anything to add a new dimension to the traditional saree look. Gingham patterns are in, both large and small, along with the floral pattern. Even the monochromes are in trend these days. Basically, the trend is to wear any fabric that is smooth, has a real life and is easy maintained.
Which store format is working best for you and why?
We are glad to have followed the plan of opening a chain of retail stores as it has worked well in the past for us. This year is all about capturing most of the ethnic wear market by maintaining our base in the organized retail sector. We have always believed that by offering ‘touch and feel’ of the fabric to the customers showcases a positive and profitable outlook in the ethnic wear market and so by venturing into the malls and commercial markets of Delhi NCR region, we have made the right decisions.
Who all do you consider as your competition? How do you plan to compete with them?
We feel it’s a huge industry and there is room for everyone. The Indian retail industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. Retail industry reached to Rs 66.39 lakh crore (US$ 950 billion) in 2018 at CAGR of 13 per cent and expected to reach Rs 76.87 lakh crore (US$ 1.1 trillion) by 2020. India is the fifth largest preferred retail destination globally.
It is very important to keep innovating in order to attract fresh customers. In terms of dealing with competition, we ensure we do not muddle with our quality as it is our USP in the market. By focusing on providing more variety without spoiling our value a bit, we ensure to stay in a healthy competition with other players in the market.
What kind of challenges do you face?
Regardless of the government policies, this industry remains to be unorganized. Additionally, the items provided are occasionally differentiated in structure, quality, pattern or brand review. Consequently, fashion makers or traders contend among themselves on costs and credit terms, prompting the disintegration of margins and seller unfriendly credit terms. Fashion industry have low shelf life and we see new trends coming in quick. This prompts dead stock or loss of sales.
What’s your current presence through all the formats?
We are currently located at four different stores, namely, a flagship store at Connaught Place, New Delhi; a landmark store at Pitampura, New Delhi; two retail stores in DLF Mall of India, Noida and Ambience Mall – Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.
What % of sales comes from online and offline?
We have about 10% sale from online mode and 90% from Offline as Women prefer to see the uniqueness of the product they are buying.
How much emphasis do you give on store design and layout?
A lot actually! See, we believe in aesthetics a lot and so we ensure that he store layout is warm and welcoming for our customers, absence of which will most likely put our customers off from the moment they step in. Hence, our store design and layout across all formats is bright with a hind of tradition here and there. Our designs are majorly out on display for our customers to explore and surrounded with mirrors so they can make an informed decision.
What kind of retail solution providers (lighting, fixture, mannequin etc) do you plan to handhold with?
We have warm light to bring out the colours at the stores and we do the visual merchandise every week three times.
What are your expansion plans?
We are planning to gradually move to different parts of Delhi NCR where we can set up our offline stores like Gurugram in near future.