The Davids are taking the fight right into the den of the Goliaths. Local brands who have been giving large brands a run for their money in the value segment, especially in small cities, are now occupying greater space in the retail malls.
City-based or regional brands, which occupied just about 10% of the stores in a mall have increased their presence this year significantly. In some metros, they represent up to one-third of all brands.
Some malls in Mumbai and Chennai are allowing entry of local brands up to 25% and the figure goes up to 30% in Delhi and NCR alone. The figure is much more for tier II cities.
Several malls in cities, including Pune, Nagpur, Jaipur and Chandigarh are accommodating local brands in excess of 35%. Experts feel that the trend is more prominent in Delhi because of the demolition drive carried out in last three quarters.
According to Manoj Motta, GM of Mumbai-based Inorbit Mall, "The idea is to provide a comfort shopping to our customers from the hustle of bazaars. Therefore, the policy should be to have an equal representation of local, regional, national and international brands."
The big category for local brands is the apparels segment. "Since only 4-5% of working women population go for western outfits, Indian costumes such as salwar-kameez and saris for that matter have made their foray into bigger formats in major cities," said DLF Retail Developers ED Ajay Khanna.
According to Usha Sivakumar, assistant manager of Mangal Tirth Estate, the developers of Chennai-based Spencer Plaza, "Our mall is driven by small tenants and wide merchandise and we already have an enormous range of local brands. We are now looking forward to absorb some more brands coming under this category."
The brands can also be giving tough fight to national and international brands. "These brands have an extremely loyal customer base in some specific catchment areas," says Ramit Trehan, marketing head of JMD Promoters, a real estate developer.