The plan is to have 50 stores for its private label Roadster and 50 more of brands HRX and Mango.

Flipkart-owned Myntra to open 100 offline stores over next two yearsImage source: Twitter
Atom Retail Friday, June 15, 2018 - 12:32

Following in the footsteps of online stores such as Lenskart and PepperFry, which opened offline stores, Myntra is set to open 100 offline stores. Roadster is the name given to the offline stores. It has a section with the same name in its portal as well.

Flipkart-owned Myntra has achieved reasonable success in promoting private fashion labels on its site and the offline foray is an extension of this attempt to promote the private labels while keeping the main thrust on the online model.

This news comes on the heels on Myntra debuting a new format of fashion retail store in Bengaluru – called Roadster Go -- for the second store of its private label Roadster, which has a 30-second self-checkout facility. The first offline store was opened in Bengaluru in March last year.

"The first Roadster store was all about consumer engagement, so we wanted to increase the amount of time that a customer spends interacting with a brand. With this store, we wanted to use technology and make it intuitive for customers and make the customer journey inside a store much easier,” Economic times quotes Ananth Narayanan, CEO, Myntra-Jabong as saying.

The offline model tries to rope in the section of the fashion buying population that is not very comfortable making such purchases online and wish to go through the physical ‘look and feel’ process before they make the purchase. At the same time the offline stores -- 100 of which Myntra hopes to open in the next 2 years -- will have increased visibility.

Secondly, Myntra claims that they have observed a definitive increase in activity on the Roadster section online ever since the offline store was opened, particularly from the very same locations where the store in located.

The plan is to have some 50 Roadster offline stores in place by the end of this year and the other 50 will comprise the brands HRX and Mango. These stores will be opened after the first 50 Roadster stores are in place.

But the question about the profitability of these offline moves will always remain critical. The very concept of online stores was touted on the premise that it reduces the cost of establishing physical stores, with real estate, interiors, staffing and other fixed costs that go with any brick and mortar retail store. Now if the online store itself making the investment in the online facility how would it impact the overall profitability of the enterprise. There is no doubt that the volumes will grow.

Myntra believes it is keeping an eye on the profitability aspect as well and claims its private labels business is already profitable. It remains to be seen if this trend in sustainable in the event of the costs being incurred in setting up these offline stores and not to mention other challenges such as matching the inventories, etc.

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