19 August 2014
Arvind Ltd will start an e-commerce website that will sell personalized
or customized shirts, trousers and suits under the Creyate brand,
in a move that illustrates the growing popularity of online shopping.
Arvind will also launch a fully-fledged e-commerce site that
will sell all its owned and licensed brands, including Flying
Machine, Arrow and Tommy Hilfiger, next year, executive director
Kulin Lalbhai said. The company hopes to generate sales of Rs.1,000
crore over the next three years from its e-commerce business,
As physical (organized) retail was in the nineties, we
see e-commerce as the next big thing. We are convinced that a
large part of the consumption will move toward e-commerce. As
a company which wants to be the largest player in brands and fashion,
we feel e-commerce should be central to our vision, Lalbhai
Arvind has formed a separate unit called Arvind Internet Ltd,
headed by Tejinder Singh, a former executive at Times Internet.
Arvind Internet has hired more than 40 executives, mostly from
e-commerce firms such as Flipkart and Times Internet.
Arvind was planning to launch an online personalized apparel
retail business within the next three months, Mint reported on
Retailers such as Shoppers Stop, MobileStore, Croma and Spencers
Retail have been talking up their strategy of integrating their
stores with their websites and trying to make e-commerce a crucial
medium of sales. Online retail is worth $3.1 billion, or 10% of
the organized retail market, and is estimated to grow to $22 billion,
or over 15% of the organized retail market, in five years, according
to a November 2013 report by brokerage CLSA.
The growth of online retailers such as Flipkart and Snapdeal
has hurt offline retailers, as customers have been lured by attractive
discounts and the convenience of home delivery. Many retailers
had asked brand manufacturers, who are also suppliers to online
firms, to persuade e-commerce sites to reduce their discounts.
These steps are unlikely to work as analysts say e-commerce has
become too large a medium for brands to ignore and the best approach
for offline retailers would be to make a serious attempt at having
some kind of an online business.
"The biggest difference between running a traditional
retail business versus an e-commerce site is the pace at which
you have to make decisions," said Devangshu Dutta, chief
executive of retail consultancy Third Eyesight. "In e-commerce,
things such as inventory management, merchandising, pricing, promotions,
etc., have a much shorter life span and a company has to be very
fast on its feet to manage these things. Even customer acquisition
costs are significantly higher in e-commerce, and logistics management
is a complex problem. All this shows that it not easy for a traditional
retail business to make a transition into e-commerce."
On its part, Arvind is launching Creyate in international markets,
such as the US, as well as in India. The brand will also launch
stores in 15 cities within the next year. These will be equipped
with state-of-the-art technology to allow shoppers to customize
all aspects of shirts, trousers and suits, such as material, sizes
and features, Arvinds Lalbhai said.
The website, which will be called Creyate.com, and the stores
will take about 12 days to deliver products initially. Arvind
has set up a separate factory for the Creyate business.
(Published in MINT.)