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Indian Retail lacks uniform sizing matrix

by Deepak Mohindra

16-November-2018  |  2 mins read

Indian apparel retail market has every potential to grow and that too exponentially. It has the appropriate infrastructure, supportive Government policies, potential consumers and ambitious manufacturers. What it does not have is the sensibility towards fit, leave aside the international retailers, that have fit sizes survey for the benefit of their target customers.

The domestic brands have in fact borrowed the fit sizes from international retailers without realising that their consumers are very different from those of the international retailers. This is even more apparent from the fact that the Indian export product basket does not include fitted garments.

I have come across many retailers which have left the domestic market to be back to exporting their manufacturing capabilities, just because the retailers both in bricks and mortar as well as e-commerce sites share their own sizes for their customers which embolden unmanageable returns.

It is therefore a positive sign for India that the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is conducting a National Sizing Survey of India by entailing measures of 25,000 males and females aged between 15 years to 65 years with the use of 3D whole-body scanners. I expect that this ‘INDIAsize’ survey will develop a standard size chart for the Indian garment manufacturers. It was a long pending necessity to enhance the growth of the industry.

Nevertheless, looking at the diversity in this country, it has to be accepted that there can never be a perfect and average Indian size, but the proper outcome of this massive exercise will help manufacturers, brands and retailers to have a definite statistics that they want to target upon. It will be far better than the current situation as currently, everybody has their own version of sizing. I expect this to increase the growth in sales and be beneficial for the end user or the customer.

Apparel Online has recently started focusing on Indian retail market, its overall working and especially sourcing strategies so that Indian exporters aspiring to work with the domestic market can have a better idea as there are a lot of procedural problems still found in manufacturing in the domestic sector.

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