CaratLane set to regain pre-Covid sheen as digital adoption catches on; sales rise 39% in Dec quarter

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 15, 2021 Published on January 15, 2021

Mithun Sacheti, founder and MD, CaratLane

Omnichannel jeweller and Tanishq partnership brand CaratLane has seen a 39 per cent sales growth in the October to December period. With consumer trends changing, and increased digital adoption, the company is hoping to end the fiscal with a positive bottom-line.

Although store footfalls continue to be at lower than pre-Covid levels, conversions — people who walk-in and make purchases — are up 30 per cent against the same period last year, owing to higher intent.

According to Mithun Sacheti, founder and MD, CaratLane’s B2C business actually saw an 80 per cent jump in numbers. But the quarter saw the closure of the ‘Solitaire B2B’ business vertical, which impacted numbers. The B2B vertical was used to “generate cash flows”, but was closed down with business being “self generating” and the focus shifting to consumer segments, said Sacheti.

“The retail business saw a 50 per cent growth on a standalone basis and we are about to report a 39 per cent jump in sales at a company level for the October-December period. Online demand is booming. Despite a 30-40 per cent decline in footfalls, conversions have gone up by 30 per cent,” he told BusinessLine.

The company is hopeful of closing the year with a positive EBITDA. “We were EBITDA positive in Q2. Trends suggest it should be the same for the rest of the year,” he added.

In the September quarter, the Chennai-based CaratLane reported revenues of ₹148 crore, a 10 per cent YoY growth. Online sales grew 90 per cent and same-store growth in high-street stores was at 14 per cent. The EBITDA stood at ₹1.6 crore.

Tata Group firm Titan has a 72.3 per cent stake in the online jewellery brand.

Changing trends

According to Sacheti, consumer trends have changed with increased digital adoption during the pandemic. Previously, people used to walk into stores, look at stocks and order.

Post lockdown, consumers are increasingly browsing online, and then walking into stores to either place those selected orders or pick up the products. “Try and buy at home” options have also become popular.

New customer additions have come in with younger professionals adopting digital-first techniques.

CaratLane initially had placed itself in the “everyday wear” segment or “discretionary category”. Now it covers the kid's segment as well and is catering to wedding and festival season demand.

“While ASPs have remained the same for us, new customer acquisitions have happened too since Q2FY21. Repeat customers apart, we are witnessing gifting pick up too,” Sacheti said, adding that tier-II and III towns (apart from tier-I) too have “embraced the omni-channel” with services such as video call through ‘CL Live’ and WhatsApp commerce.

In line with increased demand, CaratLane is planning to add 25 new stores — a mix of company-owned and franchisee ones — in FY22. Its existing store count stands at 109. Shipping overseas — six nations currently — is being ramped up. International traffic is 15 per cent of the total site’s traffic.

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Published on January 15, 2021
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