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    Accessorize London India sees e-com growing much faster, taking lion’s share soon

    | Riya Sethi
    Kumar Saurabh, CEO, Planet Retail Holdings, explains growth plans for the brand in the Indian market, its largest outside of the UK, retail expansion and developing an India-centric range of products.

    From the current sales split of Accessorize London in India between e-commerce and retail of 45:55, Kumar Saurabh, CEO, Planet Retail Holdings, expects ecommerce to take the larger share in a few years. This is despite a retail expansion plan that has been chalked out. He tells us more.

    Tell us about the brand’s online and offline sales, and projections for the same.

    Currently, our business is mainly focused on two channels – exclusive retail and e-commerce. The business split is e-commerce 45 pc and retail 55 pc. Our strategic focus for the next three to five years remains sustainable aggressive retail growth along with much faster e-commerce growth which will lead to projected business split at 60 pc for e-commerce and retail at 40 pc.

    Both third-party ecommerce and our own website have done very well for us. Our own website contributes to 20 to 25 pc and 75 pc of the business comes through the third party apps.

    We are very proud of the fact that our own website has a very wide reach. All over the country, we are a brand that is loved by celebrities, they love our products. We are a brand that has been very well accepted across age groups.

    As the market evolved, we have been now able to cater to the requirements of tier 2 and tier 3 consumers through our e-commerce business.

    What are the retail expansion plans?

    Presently, we operate about 30 stores, with ambitious plans to add 10 to 15 new stores every year. This trajectory puts us on track to reach a substantial 75 to 80 stores in the next three to five years.

    Geographically, we are present in the metro cities, with Mumbai and Delhi being our prime locations. We are there in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune.

    Going forward, we are looking to expand to tier 2 cities or cities which were not relevant at one point in time for Accessorize from a customer profile, cities that we felt may not support an exclusive store. But fashion has evolved and the consumers have evolved. We are looking to open stores in many more cities as we go forward. Currently, the majority of stores we have are in Mumbai.

    Our sales data reveals that while tier 1 cities continue to play a significant role in our retail business, the e-commerce domain is witnessing a spike in sales from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This highlights the untapped potential in these markets.

    Through the e-commerce business, we see acceptance of our brand and products in cities which we didn’t think of earlier as relevant. So, the e-commerce business also gives us an understanding of the geographical areas where there is acceptance of the brand and the products. That will get used to identify locations and open the physical offline retail stores.

    We have been very well accepted across the major airports. We are there in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi. We closed some of these stores during the Covid time but otherwise, we have been there in all the major airports.

    We are in almost all the premium malls of the country and again, we are a brand that has evolved as the malls have evolved in India.

    How has the business grown overall?

    The last two years post Covid have been very strong. Last year our growth was approximately 80 pc. For the first six months of this financial year, we are growing at about 40 to 45 pc and we remain confident about the second half of the year.

    What is the portfolio and what are the largest selling products?

    Accessorize as a brand has everything that a woman will need to accessorise herself, besides clothing. One thing that we take pride in is the product range, which defines us as a one-stop solution for the entire fashion accessory profile for women.

    We also have an exclusive kids range which is called Angels which has a similar product profile, only for the younger customer. Overall, to the retail business offline, the kids range contributes 10 pc. It’s yet to become a significant part online.

    Our stronghold lies in the categories of handbags and fashion jewellery, driving major sales and brand recognition. Along with that, our focus is also on the burgeoning markets of kids’ accessories, sunglasses and scarves, which indicate exciting prospects for growth.

    We are currently in the process of the development of an India-specific range, crafted along with our UK design team. This unique fusion of cultures promises to capture the essence of Indian fashion, further enhancing and strengthening our market presence.

    What are the strategies and approaches to acquire new customers?

    Our approach has always been customer-first. When we talk about customer-first, it’s about what product the customer will like. We offer products in the country from that perspective. We also devise our content and marketing strategies keeping the customer profile, the product profile and fashion trends. We make sure that the consumer remains aware of what we are doing, what’s latest in fashion and how Accessorize is leading that fashion trend. Eventually that results in sales.

    Our growth trajectory will be driven by strategic focus on e-commerce, calculated retail expansion, and a diverse product range that resonates with the evolving Indian market. With these foundations in place, we’re ready for a future marked by sustainable growth, innovation and a strong connection with our expanding customer base.

    MN4U SYNDICATE

    Our growth trajectory will be driven by strategic focus on e-commerce, calculated retail expansion, and a diverse product range that resonates with the evolving Indian market.

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