India’s Flipkart planning offline venture

India’s Flipkart is planning to enter the brick-and-mortar space as a master franchisee for foreign brands. This follows other e-commerce companies opening on-ground ventures as the online market slows down.

Flipkart is already in advanced talks with Giordano for a licensing deal to sell the Hong Kong­ apparel and accessory retailer’s products both offline and online in India. The plan is to set up a chain of Giordano­-branded stores along with a digital platform, says an insider.

Flipkart will appoint sub-­franchisees with brick-­and-­mortar expertise to run the physical stores.

Meanwhile, pure-play companies such as Faballey, Lenskart, Myntra, Nykaa, Pepperfry and Urban Ladder have already set up physical stores.

Fashion retailer Myntra this year acquired the Indian franchisee agreement for Spain’s Mango and is appointing two sub-­franchisees for the label – Jaipur-­based Samarth, which runs more than 100 outlets of Benetton, Calvin Klein, Lee, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, US Polo and Wrangler, and New Delhi­-based G&B which has 25 Benetton stores in the National Capital Region.

Myntra is also selling its own brands. It opened its first brick-and-­mortar store in Bengaluru in March under its private brand Roadster on the 100 Feet Road.

Beauty retailer Nykaa.com is also expanding on the ground. Its head of offline retail strategy, Adwaita Nayar, says touch and feel is important for customers in India. “Almost 90 per cent of the market for beauty products is still offline.”

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Nykaa.com intends to have large-format experiential stores as well as smaller outlets. Its aim is to have 30 stores at malls and high streets as well as travel retail by 2020.

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