Female shoppers attract brands in India

10 April 2012

NEW DELHI: Brand owners from Tag Heuer and Nokia to Harley-Davidson are ramping up their focus on female shoppers in India, recognising the increasing purchasing power of this audience.

Tag Heuer, the high-end watch range belonging to LVMH, is aiming to boost the share of its sales in the country which are attributable to women from 25% in 2011 to 35% in 2012.

One key motivation supporting such an approach is that this demographic potentially presents an especially appealing long term value proposition.

"In a lifetime, if you can sell three luxury watches to a man, you can sell between five and ten to a lady," said Frank Dardenne, general manager, LVMH watch and jewellery, India, the Hindustan Times reported.

Levi's, the apparel group, has also rolled out the Curve ID women's denim range locally, while Arvind Brands and Retail has extended its Arrow and USPA men's apparel ranges to reach female buyers.

"Lines demarcating the male and female consumer divide based on income, attitudes and expenditure are blurring, particularly in big cities. Women now have higher disposable incomes and are willing to spend more," said J Suresh, managing director, Arvind Brands and Retail.

This trend has broader applications than clothing. Harley Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer, has noted a similar change in its customer base both in India and around the world.

"Globally, women are a very important part of our ridership," said Anoop Prakash, managing director of Harley-Davidson India. "Harley is still small in India, but women motorbike riders are growing. We will tweak Harley's communication and product strategy to lure women riders."

Turning to the telecoms segment, Nokia has launched a pink version of its N8 handset, preloaded with targeted applications.

"These colourful devices offer their owners a strong emotional appeal. Pink is very popular with women," said Viral Oza, director, marketing, at Nokia India.

HP and Sony have also introduced various gadgets in numerous colours, and Milagrow, another electronics firm, sells a tablet aimed at female buyers, weighing 275g and which fits in a handbag.

"Colours in laptops are sizzling, bringing us more customers," said Ranjivit Singh, chief marketing officer, personal systems group, at HP India.

Data sourced from Hindustan Times/Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff