Reliance Retail Launches Youth-Centric Value Fashion Chain Yousta

All products are priced below Rs 999, with a majority of them costing less than Rs 499.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The maiden Yousta store has been opened at Hyderabad's Sarath City Mall. (Source: BQ Prime)</p></div>
The maiden Yousta store has been opened at Hyderabad's Sarath City Mall. (Source: BQ Prime)

Reliance Retail Ltd. has entered the value apparel market with the launch of a new brand—Yousta—to compete with Tata's Zudio chain, the Landmark Group-owned Max, and Shoppers Stop’s new mass-priced brand InTune.

With contemporary tech-enabled store layouts, Yousta offers high fashion at affordable prices targeted at young consumers, the country's largest retailer said in a statement on Thursday.

All products are priced below Rs 999, with the majority of them priced at less than Rs 499.

It has opened its maiden Yousta store in Hyderabad's Sarath City Mall.

"Yousta is a young and dynamic brand that underlines a way of life, which will grow and evolve with the youth of this country," said Akhilesh Prasad, president and chief executive officer—fashion and lifestyle at Reliance Retail.

Yousta stores are equipped with several tech touch points, including QR-enabled screens for information sharing, self-checkout counters, complimentary Wi-Fi, and charging stations, according to the company.

The retailer aims to expand its offering with Yousta by bringing in a new collection every week while also keeping the daily unisex merchandise and character merchandise available. It will offer a 'Starring Now' collection for the same, where consumers can get hold of the latest fashion as a complete outfit with matching accessories, the company said.

"The team will continuously work with India’s younger generation to understand their evolving fashion needs. Everyday will be ‘Day One’ in terms of freshness and relevance," Prasad said.

The Yousta range can also be accessed online through Ajio and JioMart.

The new brand will help Reliance Retail tap into India's vast market for value fashion, which is currently dominated by the unorganised sector.

There are many regional value fashion retailers, such as One Family Mart and Kolkata Bazaar. Listed players such as V-Mart Retail Ltd. and D-Mart (Avenue Supermarts Ltd.) also operate in the space, but competition has intensified with new brands such as Zudio and InTune accelerating store additions and jostling for a slice of the growing value fashion market.

In 2019, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. launched Style Up, a chain of value fashion stores, eyeing shoppers in small cities and towns. Its other multi-brand retail chain—Pantaloons—focuses on major cities.

Since FY17, formats such as Zudio and Max Fashion have added 350 stores, V-Mart has added 282 (including inorganic), and Pantaloons has added 222 stores. In June this year, Shoppers Stop launched InTune by opening two stores in Hyderabad and one store in Mumbai. It is still in its pilot stage and the retailer plans to add 10 more stores by the end of September, targeting tier 2 and tier 3 markets. DMart's apparel business, however, is under pressure because of the heightened competition.

In the case of Zudio, the Trent management has guided for 200 new stores in FY24.

While Reliance has Trends and recently launched premium fashion and lifestyle store Azorte to compete directly with fast fashion brands Zara and H&M in India, it has no brand category to compete with the likes of Zudio and Max. The launch of a new store is aimed at filling this gap.

"About 68% of the apparel retail market in India is unorganised," IIFL Securities wrote in a note on Thursday. "The organised value fashion serves as a bridge for the unorganised consumer to enter the organised space, and the segment remains well-placed for growth in the medium term."