Monday 13 April 2015

DLF Brands looks at starting apparel site

DLF Brands, which retails Mango, Forever21 and Mothercare, is looking to start an e-commerce site that will focus on women's and children's clothes. "It will be bigger than brand retailing. We will dominate that space," said Dipak Agarwal, chief executive, DLF Brands.

"Many retailers are in a dilemma on whether to go online by themselves or tie up with online players. In the next one year, they will find out where they need to go," he added.

Apparel brand Mango is evaluating whether to tie up with one or two online brands or go online itself. French clothing brand Lacoste is also evaluating whether to extend its global online portal to India or sell on an e-commerce portal.

"E-commerce is a wonderful channel. It allows us to connect with customers who cannot buy offline due to distance or lack of time," said Rajesh Jain, managing director and chief executive, Lacoste India.

He admitted heavy discounting by e-commerce sites had affected retail business. "We are five per cent away from our target. That is because of sluggishness in the economy and brands went on discounting throughout the year," he said. "Discounting is why we stayed away from e-commerce," he added.

Prashant Agarwal, joint managing director of Wazir Advisors, believes brands should try marketplaces before going online on their own. "Anybody who wants to go online should first go to a marketplace and then launch their own website. Buyers go to marketplaces, compare and then buy," he said.

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