“Fashion as an industry has bounced back to pre-Covid level as it gives feel-good factor at a low price point than any big ticket size item such as travel in pre-Covid times,” said Amar Nagaram, chief executive of Myntra.
Torrid demand for such items online has helped fashion and lifestyle retailers to something to cheer about in an otherwise pandemic-induced slowdown year.
“The pandemic has probably accelerated online sales by five years,” said J. Suresh, managing director of Arvind Fashions that markets US Polo, Flying Machine, Aeropostale among other labels. Online sales of Arvind’s brands have gone up 1.4 times compared it its pre-pandemic digital business.
Puma revenues on Myntra shot up more than 250% this Diwali compared to last festive season. So did Levi’s transaction on the site, according to sources.
Nitin Chhabra, CEO of omni-channel enabler Ace Turtle, said more than a dozen brands the Bengaluru company manages have grown by 75-350% this Diwali compared to festive months last year. Ace Turtle manages end-to-end omni-channel solutions for brands including Lifestyle, Pepe Jeans, Wrangler, Skechers, Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger and Reebok.
“E-commerce had a bumper festive season,” said Abhishek Ganguly, managing director of Puma India. “They are very bullish going into December as well.”
That is the reason brands such as Puma, Nike, Biba, W For Woman and Max Fashion are ramping up their exclusive collections for Myntra’s upcoming flagship End Of Reason Sale (EORS) primarily based on data analytics.
“This cuts down cost and they are able to give sharp pricing and reach the relevant consumer with least investment unlike before. More than discounts and clearing old inventory, the pricing of new winter season merchandise itself will be attractive this time,” said Nagaram.
Fashion and lifestyle stores were shuttered for months and then when opened saw low footfalls at brick-and-mortar stores amid fear of the coronavirus, but their online sales soared.
The online growth this year has been across the board from western wear to ethnic clothing and retailers are pushing brands to upgrade their omni-channel technologies besides using their physical stores as hyperlocal deliveries for online orders.
“The (online) opportunities have increased so organisations have also doubled down on their investments and efforts,” said Siddharath Bindra, managing director of Biba that is upgrading its technology and plans to bring all its stores on its omni-channel platform by March.
“The online explosion we have seen is here to stay. The pace of the acceleration might slow once the Covid is over but it is not going to come down,” Bindra said. “A lot of the acceleration is permanent.”
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