Companies

Still early days for consolidation in niche e-commerce space: Koovs CEO

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani London | Updated on January 16, 2018

Eyes 10% share in India’s online fashion by 2020

Online fashion retailer Koovs, which launched its private label in India in 2012, believes that it is still early days for consolidation in the specialised e-commerce segment.

Mary Turner, CEO, Koovs Plc, told BusinessLine that her company is eyeing a 10-per cent share in India’s online fashion vertical by 2020. But to achieve this growth target, acquisitions may not be the immediate answer, as Turner believes “it is still early days for consolidation to happen in the specialist e-commerce segment. I think inorganic opportunities will come only when specialist e-commerce companies want to expand to other verticals.”

Bullish on the huge opportunity presented by the Indian market, Turner said the e-commerce company aims to break even by 2019. The AIM-listed company achieved sales of about ₹100 crore (£10 million) in the last fiscal ended March 2016 and expects it to grow 2-2.5 times by this fiscal year-end.

She said that for the next few years, Koovs will continue to focus on offering affordable western fashion to 18-34-year-old style-conscious consumers.

Besides offering “designed-in-London and made-in-India” private-label apparel and accessories, the firm also sells curated and exclusive collections of international and domestic brands. Turner said: “India is exciting in terms of the growth rate, which is being fuelled by organic demand. Not only is the population growing, but consumers are also urbanising, their propensity to spend is growing and they are becoming more discerning and style-conscious. The market for online fashion in India is growing rapidly.”

About 40-45 per cent of the company’s sales come from its private-label range, while the balance is contributed by other branded products. Turner said the company wants to grow the sales contribution of its private-label range to 60-65 per cent.

Competition

Asked about the growing competition from international brands entering the Indian market, Turner said since India is not a core market for most of these international brands they are not focussed on bringing the latest designs at affordable prices to India and therefore do not do justice to the style-conscious Indian consumer.

“We are a fashion-forward brand focussed on bringing the latest and authentic western wear to the Indian market at affordable prices. The Koovs range is exactly what consumers are wearing in New York, London or Milan right now, and that is our key differentiator.”The company plans to extensively use social and digital media to make consumers aware about this key differentiator.

The writer was recently in London at the invitation of Koovs

Published on September 20, 2016

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