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Birla group enters in online fashion segment with

Aditya-Birla-Group, Aditya Birla Chemicals

Mumbai: The Aditya Birla group today put fashion portals like Myntra, Jabong and Amazon on notice by launching its own online ramp

Targeted at the youth, the Birla group portal will merchandise 55 brands, besides in-house fashion apparel. It will also offer accessories such as fashion jewellery, shoes and handbags.

The new online retailer intends to change the rules of the game and will rely on designs and quality rather than deep discounts like other web portals.

Increasing Internet penetration and growing preference for online shopping are expected to help the online fashion retail market touch $35 billion in sales by 2020, according to a research done by Google India. Fashion retail on e-commerce portals is expected to constitute 35 per cent of the total online retail revenue generated in India.

Launching on Friday, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla group, said interesting business opportunities being thrown up by the fast emerging Indian economy and the entrenched understanding of fashion led to the launch of the site.

“Each garment sold on the portal will be handpicked by a group of in-house experts and targeted at the millennials, in the age group 18-25,” said Birla, who was dressed for the occasion in a trendy jacket and jeans.

Asked why the group launched a new company instead of using established brands such as Madura Fashion or Pantaloons, he said there was not much synergy between the businesses as they target different groups through diverse mediums.

The company has tied up with three logistic service providers to cover 400 cities with 5,000 pincodes and will outsource all the garments sold on the platform. It will also retail in-house brands owned by Madura Garments and Pantaloons.

The company has set up a warehouse in Bengaluru and is in the process of setting up another in the National Capital Region.

abof has decided to go with a thousand styles to start with. “Obviously, the youth of today do not want to pore through 3,000 designs to buy two-three garments,” said Prashant Gupta, President and CEO, abof.

Without revealing the initial investment and sales target, Birla said the industry has potential to garner sales of $15 billion in five years. On the potential foreign direct investment in the new venture, he said: “We are not looking for any partnership but are open to accept investment from financial investors at right valuation.”

Other brick-and-mortar groups are also eyeing e-commerce. While the Mahindra group has floated a wholly-owned subsidiary Mahindra E-marketplace for its online foray, the Tata group and Reliance Industries are planning to move into the space.


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