Clovia to start franchising, open 30 offline stores


In a bid to expand revenues from offline channels, Ivy Cap-backed online lingerie startup Clovia plans to set up 30 stores this year mostly across the northern part of the country. It last year experimented with small kiosks at public places such as airports and even multi-brand outlets and currently gets close to 15 percent of its business from offline channels.


These new stores will be exclusive Clovia stores and will also help the firm enhance its brand positioning.
Last year, rival brand Zivame also moved to this format and announced plans to open offline stores.
Unlike the kiosks, where we had select range of products, ideal for gifting purpose etc, these outlets will carry our full range. The first one will be launched in two months. The year-end target is 30 stores, depending on the response we get, said Pankaj Vermani, co-founder and chief executive officer, Clovia.
These will be 300-450 square feet stores and will stock the inventory. The customers can walk in and buy the products from the counter.
While Vermani declined to share the investment size, ideally, setting up an outlet of this size may require an investment ranging between Rs 10-30 lakhs, depending upon the location.
Clovia which is run by Purple Panda Fashions sells private label lingerie and gets it manufactured from third party units. It currently works with over 16 such units situated across Delhi-NCR and claims that over 80 percent of them work exclusively with Clovia. Private label allows a firm to earn a much larger gross margin, to the tune of 60-65 percent unlike single or early double digit commission, it can earn from aggregating other brands.
It gets over 55 percent of its total online sales through its own website while the rest comes from partner websites such as Myntra.
The company which last raised an undisclosed amount in Series A round from IvyCap Ventures in 2015 and targets to turn profitable in 18 months.
Clovia's move can be seen as a strategic one, especially at a time when online lingerie firms are yet to prove a point in the Indian market.
After running a combination of aggregation as well as private label platform, larger rival, Zivame, last year pivoted to become a private label brand. In 2011, it had started off only as an as aggregator. Soon after this move, chief executive Richa Khar was pulled back from daily operations, handing over the responsibility to recently appointed chief operating officer Shaleen Sinha.

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