Zara’s Indian partner to build fashion chain !

For nearly a decade, Tata Group has been Inditex SA’s partner running Zara stores in India. Now, the country’s largest conglomerate is building its own apparel empire as trend-focused as Zara but at half the price. Its retail arm, Trent Ltd., has fine-tuned its local supply chain to deliver “extreme fast fashion” which can get runway styles to customers in just 12 days, the same compressed timeline that’s turned Inditex into a $90 billion empire.

Trent now plans to open 40 outlets of its flagship Westside chain every year and hundreds of its mass-market Zudio stores, where nothing costs more than $15, across India, said chairman Noel Tata in an interview in Mumbai. The target audience: a consumer population that is newly trend-conscious and globalized, but whose low average incomes means that clothing from Zara itself is still mostly out of reach.

The middle class is growing, incomes have grown, Indians are traveling more and they have more money to spend. Trent, part of the $111 billion salt-to-software Tata conglomerate, is hoping its quick and responsive supply chain will help it become as ubiquitous in Asia’s third-largest economy as Zara is in the West. But it’ll need to fend off competition from both local brick-and-mortar stores as well as e-commerce giants to do so.