As buyers go online, Arvind, Tata jump on e-com bandwagon

MUMBAI: Sanjay Lalbhai-promoted Arvind Ltd, which already runs a fashion retail business spanning over 1,200 outlets and 35 brands, is now betting on a big online push to further accelerate growth.

It joins a growing list of brick and mortar retailers including the Tatas, Birlas and Ambanis who are eyeing new markets and new customers through the digital form.

Arvind’s online platform will compete with the likes of Myntra, Jabong, Amazon and Flipkart. But companies such as Arvind, which already have a strong physical footprint, hope that an omni-channel push integrating online and offline channels will give them an edge.

The Tata Group will on Friday commercially launch its e-commerce platform CLiQ across computer and mobile platforms with offerings in apparel, electronics and footwear.

“Omni-channel will connect all products across online and offline. So, all 1,200 stores and the products are there in it and the warehouse and products you see online will be connected real time. This will help us do things like same-day delivery among other things,” said Kulin Lalbhai, executive director.

 While the website is already live, in the next couple of months, most of Arvind’s stores in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai will be fully integrated and 100 more stores will be added per month to the platform.

Arvind is targeting 10% of its total retail sales from e-commerce in 3-4 years, said Lalbhai.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail, which recently launched fashion portal, is readying launch of a digital marketplace with over 200,000 retailers.

“Omni-channel is about customer being able to pickup and drop, book in-store and getting it delivered, and multiple payment options,” said Gaurav Jain, head of corporate business development at Reliance Retail.

With real estate getting expensive in major cities, a growing internet user base, and the rollout of faster 3G and 4G telecom networks, e-commerce will offer lot of growth opportunities, say analysts.

article source: Hindustan Times / May 26, 2016


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