Companies

Arvind to digitise its textile stores

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 26, 2016

Kulin Lalbhai, Executive Director, Arvind Internet

To take on e-comm fashion players with omni-channel strategy

Arvind Internet Limited (AIL), the online arm of integrated textile and apparel company Arvind, plans to digitise all its 1,200 physical stores by the end of this year as part of its omni-channel strategy.

This means, consumers and store managers would be able to order online and get the product delivered from a nearby Arvind store in just two hours.

“We want to make shopping seamless and very convenient for our customers through this omni-channel strategy. We are, hence, transforming all our physical stores into digital stores-cum-mini warehouses. We have already digitised 100 stores in several cities, including tier-II and tier-III towns,” said Kulin Lalbhai, Executive Director, Arvind Internet.

Lalbhai, who drives the e-commerce vertical of the textile major, expects Arvind Internet to contribute about 10 per cent of the overall sales of Arvind in the next 3-4 years.

“Currently our brand revenue is ₹3,000 crore and we expect this to grow to $1 billion.”

Lalbhai spearheaded Arvind Internet in 2014 with the launch of a bespoke online clothing brand, Creyate, to test the waters of e-commerce in India. After two years, the company has full-fledgedly entered online retailing with its portal NNNow.com.

“We will set up online brand stores of all our brands on NNNow.com and also continue to sell on other e-commerce channels such as Flipkart and Amazon,” Lalbhai said, adding that the company plans to deliver its brands to customers within a day.

Arvind, which has the rights for 35 brands, including GAP, Lee, Arrow, Nautica, Wrangler, and US Polo, earns 4-5 per cent of its revenues from its online channel.

Lalbhai, who doesn’t talk the e-commerce lingo of GMV and unit economics, feels that burning cash and selling below selling price is “suicidal”, referring to e-commerce marketplaces that have burnt millions to bring consumers online.

“Now that they have educated the shoppers, I think it is the right time for players like us to enter this segment,” Lalbhai said, adding that the company doesn’t believe in the discounting model and that doing so will damage the brands. He also added that the company will invest aggressively to grow its e-commerce business.

In-house technology

The Bengaluru-based company has a team of 200 engineers and sales professionals who are trying to build all necessary technology in-house. “We are trying to build everything in-house, but if there are any white spaces left, we will try to fill that through acquisitions. However, nothing is on the cards at the moment.”

Besides Arvind, other players such as Shoppers Stop, Tata Group and Aditya Birla Group are also heavily investing on their online strategy in the fashion and apparel space, which is all set to grow to a $12-billion industry in the next four years.

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Published on May 26, 2016
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