FILE PHOTO: Guenter Butschek, CEO and Managing Director at Tata Motors, speaks at the launch of H5X SUV concept car at the India Auto Show 2018 in Greater Noida. For nearly a decade, Tata Group has been Inditex’s partner running Zara stores in India.
INTERNATIONAL - For nearly a decade, Tata Group has been Inditex’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, 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 $90billion (R1.3trillion) empire.

Zara, the world’s largest apparel retailer, is known for its lightning-quick product turnarounds and bringing new designs from the drawing board to store shelves in weeks. 

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 chairperson Noel Tata in an interview in Mumbai. 

The target audience: a consumer population that is newly trend-conscious, but whose low average incomes means that clothing from Zara itself is still out of reach. While Trent was founded in 1998, it’s only recently started ramping up store expansion efforts. “The middle class is growing, incomes have grown, Indians are travelling more and they have more money to spend,” Tata said. 

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