At NEWME, we recognize the evolving fashion dynamics for GenZ women.
1. Tell us about Newme’s journey. Why did you think of entering an already cluttered industry?
Before we delve into the store launch, would like to throw some light on who we are and what we are trying to achieve with NEWME. We are a group of four co-founders who are building one of the leading ultra-fast fashion-tech brands in India – NEWME. India is not necessarily seen as a fashion-forward market in the globe. However, with globalization and digitization, Indian consumers have developed new habits and showcased new spending patterns. The surge in smartphones and access to affordable data and networks have led to the emergence of a new set of consumers across the nation – ‘the Bharat consumers’, residing in Tier II and beyond cities. Coincidentally, GenZs, have also emerged to be an influential set of consumers who are different from their predecessors regarding their fashion and lifestyle choices.
While the Indian fashion industry is huge, fashion brands were failing to cater to the individualistic style that the youth of the nation desired. We found the gap to be two-fold –
- A) lack of designs that truly reflect GenZ fashion sensibilities
- B) the way GenZs want to shop.
And this is what we are solving with NEWME.
Also, we don’t think that it is a cluttered category. We don’t know of any brand that is solving the fashion needs of GenZ and our vision is to solve for fashion needs of high aspiration and ever-evolving GenZ women of India.
2. Tell us about the new store launch. And why launch a Mumbai store after two store launches in Bangalore?
After an overwhelming response from our customers through our app and website, we decided to bring NEWME to their cities. Thereby, Bengaluru saw two store launches one after the other. Bengaluru is our headquarters, and it made more sense to tap that market first and get feedback directly from our customers. We also visited 10 cities this year where we had our pop-up stores. The love of the consumers for our collections helped us decide to open our first flagship store in Mumbai at Infinity Mall at Malad. With Mumbai being the epicenter of the entertainment industry in India, we had to do our research before launching the store here because Mumbai as a city is the trendsetter when it comes to fashion. We are glad our first flagship store is now in Mumbai with the biggest on-ground collection on display.
3. What’s unique about the Mumbai store?
This store marks NEWME’s entry into Maharashtra. It is our biggest store in India with almost 3600 sq ft of carpet area. During our research, we found that while GenZs like options, they do not like to be drowned by a large collection of clothes which usually confuses them. Our shop floor has been designed keeping how GenZs like to shop and discover items to buy. We also understand that this is a ‘selfie savvy generation’, therefore, we have tried to make our store ‘Instagrammable’. The store also has some interesting nooks and corners which we are sure will be unique spaces to create content for our digital native consumers.
The store is in one of the most premium malls of Mumbai suburbs and based on our data of online customers, this area serves a large chunk of our customers in Mumbai.
4. Are more stores planned in the coming quarters and where?
We are a young brand and are in the dynamic space of fashion. Our vision is to put India on the world map for fashion and empower the young to express their individuality by staying stylish. The next 12 months are crucial for our growth as we plan to expand and have at least 12-15 more stores across India. We are also planning on a roadshow next month which is the official party season of the year. We plan to cover 9 cities in 20 days including Guwahati and Imphal – where hardly any clothing brands for the youth are present. The next 5 years will be about expanding our presence as much as expanding our team and also for international exposure.
5. As a young start-up, how has the response been for the brand?
At NEWME, we recognize the evolving fashion dynamics for GenZ women. To grab the attention of the GenZs, we have added new aesthetic changes to our app which pushes the latest collection looks for our online shoppers. Most of our online shoppers discover us on Instagram.
We have toured four cities so far – New Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, and Indore – where we had pop-up stores that received lots of love and feedback from our customers and helped us gain brand visibility in those cities. Overall, our strategy combines the best of tradition and innovation, engaging customers through both online and offline channels to make NEWME the first choice for GenZ women. In terms of response, we have received an overwhelming consumer response this Black Friday sale, where our customers lined up outside the stores in Bengaluru, eagerly awaiting access to the collections at discounted prices. This clearly shows that we have successfully carved a unique niche for NEWME in the fashion industry.
6. How does a brand like NEWME connect with the audiences in today’s cluttered market?
For us, our customer is the king. Since we are a digital-first brand with a conscious approach to having an omnichannel presence, we get to interact with our customers digitally as well as at our stores. Most of our customers who buy our products online are evenly split between Tier I, II, and III. We understand the needs of a young city-dwelling woman and the fashion aspirations of a tier II and III woman. Plus, throughout the year we travelled across cities with our pop-up stores where our customers have shown a lot of love for the brand. These allowed us to host meet-and-greet sessions with some of our loyal customers. Their feedbacks encourage us to work on our collections with timely launches. For example, early this year when there was a huge hype for Barbie, we were the first brand in India to launch a complete collection around Barbie and its colors.– fulfilling our customer’s need to join the global Barbie phenomenon.
7. NEWME is a fashion-tech start-up. How do you incorporate technology into a category like fashion?
We believe technology is pivotal to our business, using it to scale operations from design inception to launch. Initially, manual processes handle trend curation and insights, but once optimized, we integrate technology. The overall design to launch process has a lot of tech elements in it which allows us to launch 500+ designs on a weekly basis resonating with what’s trending in that week or so. The entire app engagement and retention strategies are tech-driven, with plans for more innovations as user numbers increase. Significant efforts in trend and inventory management have enabled rapid scaling in recent quarters.
In fact, we would like to just reinstate that “NEWME is a data and tech company which is selling fashion”. That's our core DNA and that's how we plan to scale the business in the coming months and years.