Will H&M, Topshop, and Gap India take Zara head-on?

Just days after media reports said 'fast fashion' brand, Zara's Indian unit has registered profits in two out of the three years it has been in the country, global fashion retailers seem to have revived their confidence in the India growth story as two fashion giants- H&M and Topshop are finalising plans to enter the country in the next couple of months.

The Times of India reported today that Stockholm Stock Exchange-listed H&M, the world's largest clothing retailer after Inditex, is likely to open an India office within three months after moving the FIPB as it is ready to meet the 30 percent local sourcing norms. H&M has reportedly already asked leading mall developers to block space for its India stores.

H&M is expected to line up an initial investment of $500 million for its India foray. The company is currently in talks with various legal firms in the country to help it prepare a formal application that will then be presented to the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).



UK-based Topshop is firming up a local joint venture partner, the report added. The Sir Philip Green-owned retailer had earlier planned to enter India with the Tata group, but nothing materialised.

It remains to be seen if the two fashion retailers will manage to take on Zara, which has already taken a lead by forming a joint venture in 2009 with Tata-owned Trent to set up stores in India. Zara has already built a foothold in Mumbai and New Delhi. For Zara, this might mean a further expansion into more Indian cities.

Clearly the competition in the fast-fashion space is getting intense with even GAP getting ready to open stores in India sometime next year and Tata International planning on launching a slew of foreign labels from the US-based Wolverine's portfolio.

Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 16:42 PM

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