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Is Reliance Group's Azorte Store the next H&M or Zara?

Created on 21 Aug 2023

Wraps up in 4 Min

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Updated on 22 Aug 2023

According to a recent report, the fashion market in India is all set to experience significant growth at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11-12%. By the year 2025, it can reach an estimated market share of $115-125 billion which comes out to be close to ₹10,25,000 crore, more than the networth of Mukesh Ambani.

What if I challenged you to compete against the most popular high-end brands in India, including Mango, Zara, and H&M? It's vital to notice that someone has already entered the competition. 

It is none other than "THE BIG PLAYER" Reliance Industries, whose founder, the billionaire Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani wants to cater to the high-end demands of the Indian luxury market. 

Introducing the contender, "AZORTE", aiming to capture everyone's attention. Let's jump into how it manages to compete with the luxury brands in the Indian Market.

About AZORTE

On September 29, 2022, Reliance Industries Ltd's retail unit launched its first in-house premium fashion & lifestyle store chain, Azorte, in Bengaluru, which is spread around 18,000 square feet. Presently, Azorte operates seven stores in various Indian cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Gurugram & others. 

According to Mr. Akhilesh Prasad, CEO of Reliance Retail, the company plans to open 40 stores, which will contribute 15% incremental revenue to Reliance Retail's fashion and lifestyle business.

The company states that the premium brand's primary focus is to provide a seamless tech-enabled journey to its end consumers. The extensive tech-enabled special features include mobile checkout, smart trial rooms, fashion-discovery stations, and self-checkout kiosks. 

Below is a snapshot of an Azorte Store that has opened in Navi Mumbai, spanning approximately 15,000 square feet.

Azorte Store located at Nexus Seawoods Mall in Navi Mumbai

Categories: Azorte is not limited to being just a clothing store. Currently, it offers a wide range of accessories, beauty products, and footwear to cater to the vast demands coming from millennials and Gen-Z.

Revenue Projections: Every company projects an estimated revenue value to attract investors; this brand is no exception.
In the coming three years, the company expects to contribute 15-20% of its total revenue to the lifestyle and fashion businesses from its latest ventures. The company witnessed revenue growth of 3x during the first quarter of FY2023. Reliance Retail has reported gross revenue of ₹58,554 crore.

The company will also be focusing on creating employment. It will generate around 2,500 jobs as more stores keep opening up. Each store will employ about 100 employees, according to a statement by Mr. Prasad.

How will Azorte Compete With Zara or H&M?

Reliance Industries is well known for outperforming its competitors, be it in the telecom sector, consumer durables, lifestyle, or fashion businesses.
It is evident from the launch of JIO how Reliance Industries destroyed brands such as AIRCEL, TATA Docomo, BSNL, and others. 

The Reliance Group is once again strategizing to destroy its competitors in the premium fashion and lifestyle segment. However, this time, they aim to achieve their goal by establishing the most technologically advanced stores throughout India. Look at the below-mentioned reasons to understand how Azorte is outshining its competitors:

  1. Fully Automated Stores: Azorte is introducing fully automated stores where customers can shop with minimal human interactions. When you take any article with you into the smart trial rooms, it will automatically detect the product and display it on the screens. This system works on RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. There's an intelligent self-checkout kiosk, so customers can eliminate standing in queues.
  2. Competitive Pricing: Despite marketing their brand as a premium lifestyle brand, they have kept the prices low compared to Zara or H&M to counter competition.
  3. Super premium experience: In case the size of any apparel does not fit you, you can ask for another size from inside the trial room, and their employees will get that for you. How cool does that sound?
  4. Low Staff: As Azorte will be operated in a fully automated space, there will be minimal staff present in the store. You can ignore those awful conversations while making a purchase.

So many facts and figures! Let me present you with an idea in general.

The public's reaction to AZORTE

India is a democratic nation, and everyone can express their views on anything. We get to know how a brand is performing through the public's reaction. However, their reaction to the brand was different from what was expected by the company. Some statements by the public are:

  • People are not satisfied with the quality and designs of the apparel in Azorte stores. They have shown their dissatisfaction via Instagram comments over reels.
  • An Instagram user says some of its products are overpriced for fast fashion products.
  • Azorte will contribute more to the country's unemployment level, a user commented.
  • Brand loyalty is what makes Azorte tough to compete with ZARA and H&M.

The Bottom Line

Azorte is all set to bring a revolution in the field of fast, premium fashion and lifestyle products. With significant capital expenditure, the Reliance Group is dedicated to providing its customers with a highly advanced tech experience in their stores. Smart trial rooms, luxurious interiors, and self-checkout kiosks are some of the ways they are competing with other players in the market. Azorte, led by the daughter of the Ambanis, Isha Ambani, is determined to provide stiff competition to brands such as Zara, H&M, and Mango.

Azorte was launched in the previous year, and there seems to be no excitement among the general public as 11 months have already passed. The public's reaction to Azorte was not up to the mark of what was expected by the Reliance Group.

Will Azorte be able to establish itself as a successful, fast-growing premium fashion and lifestyle brand? The question is still awaiting an answer.

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