It started as an online lingerie brand retailing its products across all e-commerce marketplaces, however, Mumbai-based PrettySecrets is now planning an offline foray with a combination of company-owned and franchise stores.
To start with the company, owned by MTC Ecom Pvt Ltd, plans to open about 30 large format stores, in Mumbai this year, and then gradually scale up to 300 by 2019, its founder and CEO, Karan Behal told BusinessLine . “The market dynamics is changing and it is important for every retailer or brand to adopt an omni-channel mode of retailing. Besides, we have always behaved more like an online brand than an e-commerce company and having an offline venture will allow us to acquire customers in smaller towns,” Behal said.
He, however, added that, “e-commerce in India started around a time (2007) when the real-estate prices were all-time high and were moving up north. But the retail is getting attractive again. We are witnessing a drop in commercial property prices and dip in rentals by 20 per cent in several pockets and this gives us an opportunity to be right there near the customer.”
PrettySecrets started off selling lingerie, but currently offers over 1,200 products across categories such as lingerie, nightwear, activewear and swimwear, at an average price range of ₹700-800, which is cheaper than brands such as La Senza, Triumph and Marks n Spencers.
“We want to give an experience of Victoria Secrets at a much reasonable price. We want to be the Asia’s answer to Victoria Secrets and position ourselves as a global brand soon,” Behal said.
He added that PrettySecrets.com serves in more than 19,000 pincodes in India and the brand wants to optimise its omni-channel presence and offer the Indian consumers more than just a click-and-ship marketplace. It will soon release its Progressive Web App (PWA) in 2017 for an ultra-modern shopping experience. The company, which has raised over ₹60 crore, from investors such as Orios Venture Partners, Indian Angel Network (IAN), India Quotient and RB, has pivoted its model at a time when the online lingerie players such as Zivame and Clovia are facing challenges in this category.
Bengaluru-based Zivame has recently pivoted its business model and has gone back to retailing instead of creating private labels.
Kalaari-backed Zivame, which raised private investment, has not been able to break-even even by trying to sell its private labels, which is considered to be a high margin business. It also opened experience centres and trial showrooms, a strategy that has backfired, according to experts.