A day after H&M holds its annual runway show in Paris on 1 March, the H&M store at Select City Walk, New Delhi, will feature the brand’s Studio collection. Select City Walk is the only Indian location among 200 marque stores that fashion retailer has chosen as it aligns itself for the first time to the ‘see now, buy now’ or ‘ready to retail’ movement which is catching on among fashion and luxury retailers globally.
Usually fashion weeks showcase collections that hit stores 4-6 months later. However, because of digital media, consumers can now see the collection presented on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, and are demanding for faster access.
The Swedish retailer joins brands like Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford which have joined the ‘ready to retail’ movement in the last year.
“The new era in the fashion industry, to bring fashion immediately from catwalk to customer, is an exciting format which H&M is very much are looking forward to testing,” said a spokesperson for H&M Hennes & Mauritz Retail Pvt. Ltd.
Select City beat Mumbai’s High Street Phoenix mall and Ambience Mall in New Delhi to get the collection first.
In October 2015, when H&M launched in India, Select City Walk was where it opened its first store. Store opening is also a function of space availability and the mall is known for its uncanny ability to make space for new tenants. Last year when Massimo Dutti and Gap launched in India they, too, chose the Delhi mall to open their first stores.
What works for the mall is probably its higher sales per square feet, say experts. “Retailers like H&M do a sales review of each one of their stores and monitor sales of new collections and how fast they get sold at each location. Delhi probably is chosen based on its sales metric,” says Troy Costa, a fashion designer who counts Prime Minister Narendra Modi among his clients.
Select City Walk is India’s highest grossing mall in terms of sales per square feet, said Bappaditya Basu, vice-president and associate director (retail) of global real estate consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) India.
Being in north India, the mall also benefits from the fact that the region has a cold (though brief) winter season, which is missing across the rest of India. Also it is in the heart of the city which means it caters not only to the National Capital Region but also to the entire north which includes places like Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Faridabad. “Delhi is one of the largest retail market for any category,” said Vivek Kaul, head, retail services India at CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd, a real estate consultancy firm.
Moreover compared to other premium, good quality malls, Select City Walk is much smaller in size—spread across 1.3 million sq. ft with a wide sweep of tenant mix. “The tenant mix gives it a good trading density compared to other malls,” said Pankaj Renjhen, managing director, retail services, JLL India.
The H&M Studio collection focuses on contrasting trends mixing feminity, volume, and traditional techniques are mixed with functionality and hi-tech details of sportswear to create a fresh and modern clash, the retailer said in a statement.