Flipkart has formed a strategic partnership with retailer Lifestyle that would help the Walmart-owned e-commerce company in its battle with rival Amazon to tap the booming fashion retail business in the country. The partnership is also expected to provide support to both companies in their competition from the yet to be launched e-commerce business of Reliance Industries.
“Fashion is a $100 billion market in the country with only 6 per cent having been penetrated by the online retail players. There is a very large opportunity to enable more consumers to come online,” said Rishi Vasudev, senior vice president and group head, fashion at Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong. “Lifestyle’s wide range of brands across fashion categories which highly complement our platforms will enable growth for both players. This partnership further strengthens our position as the leading fashion destination in India and is a testament to our vision in bringing the best of fashion to millions of Indian consumers,” said Vasudev. Flipkart Group has a 70 per cent market share in the online fashion retail market, according to an industry source.
Through this partnership, both Lifestyle and Flipkart Group bring unique capabilities, including relevant customer insights, Flipkart’s vast reach and Myntra’s deep understanding of the fashion business. Through this partnership, Lifestyle will take its wide selection of product ranges including its fashion private label brands across womenswear, menswear, kids wear, footwear, handbags, fashion and accessories, to newer geographies. It would also be able to serve the over 160 million consumer base of the Flipkart Group.
“Currently 2-3 per cent of our business is online and our target is to grow it to 15-20 per cent,” said Vasanth Kumar, managing director, Lifestyle International Pvt. Ltd. “This collaboration brings together Flipkart Group’s extensive reach and Lifestyle’s high fashion offering, thereby enabling us to serve a larger number of fashion-conscious consumers, across the country,” said Kumar.
Having completed 20 years in the industry, Lifestyle currently has a network of 78 stores in India and is growing rapidly by adding one store every 45 days. The company is aiming to have 100 stores within the next two years. Lifestyle's Kumar said the company is present in 44 cities and the Flipkart partnership would now enable it to reach small cities and towns too.
In June this year, Myntra was expecting around 50 per cent of its End of Reason Sale (EORS) to be generated from tier-II and -III cities. It was eyeing to tap 32 million potential customers, through its biggest edition of the mega sale event in June this year.
Flipkart said its expertise in using innovation and technology to create customer experiences combined with an "unmatched reach" has helped establish it as the partner of choice for Lifestyle. The move also complements Flipkart Group’s strategy to bring a wide range of branded offerings in important segments like women’s ethnic wear, kids wear and men’s formal wear. This partnership between the two players aims to provide a seamless shopping experience to customers. Both companies would also be exploring the strategic collaborations on loyalty programs and customer engagement activations.