The fashion business is a most inconstant and unpredictable sector. What is in vogue today gets outdated tomorrow, and could become a fad soon after. Life does complete a whole circle; but not as quickly as fashion does. The ready-to-wear apparel industry which flourished during 2000s is now being challenged, of all things, by bespoke tailoring. The fashion clock took just about a decade and a half to go from ready-to-wear to ready-to-stitch clothing.
Started in October 2013, Corporate Collars - a custom tailoring retail store in Mumbai - has now launched 'tailoring on wheels’. They have fitted-out and deployed a customised mobile van to take the concept right to the customers’ doorstep. Corporate Collars offers an excess of 1400 fabrics to choose from and allows the customer to create his/her own look by designing and customizing their own shirts, trousers, and even suits.
“Head honchos, upper-level management and business owners are wrapped up in their busy schedule and find it difficult to visit our stores. Therefore, we introduced ‘Corporate Collars on Wheels’ in an attempt to save the customer some valuable time going to and fro to a store. The van allows us to provide our customers with the same range of fabrics and impeccable tailoring services that is available at our store,” says Harssh Chheda, Founder & CEO of Corporate Collars.
So far they have had an overwhelming response from clients who seem to be more than satisfied with the service, fit, and quality of the product.
The biggest challenge in doorstep retailing is achieving the right measure of customer satisfaction. Timely service, attention to detail, ready stock of fabric, and finally, the right fit has to be provided every single time. Corporate Collars is aware of this challenge and is making sure that customers get exactly what they are looking for. The sector is largely unorganized, and at this point of time there is no direct competition from any reputed brand. However, if we look at the competition between the organized and the unorganized sector, the latter does takes the larger chunk of the business.
Over the last decade, the industry has witnessed a big market-share shift towards the ready-to-wear apparel category. Today, the category dominates the total apparel market segment with around 80 per cent of the market share.
However, the trend is changing gradually. The ready-to-stitch category is making a comeback. Currently, the ready-to-stitch segment is estimated to be around Rs. 39,820 crores with only a 20 per cent share of the apparel market. The demand for ready-to-stitch is still large, though, and it is growing at an annual rate of 5.5 per cent.
According to the industry experts, the growth in the ready-to-stitch segment is the result of the contribution of tier-I, tier-II and the smaller cities, where consumers have not entirely shifted to the ready-to-wear category.
Currently, only 16 per cent of ready-to-stitch market is organised. However, the organised market is growing at a high rate, and its share is expected to increase to about 23 per cent in the next five years. This can only augur well for Corporate Collars.