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Textile giant Arvind Limited forays into e-commerce

Launches online custom clothing brand; targets Rs 1,000 crore from e-retail business in three years

BS Reporters  |  Bangalore 

In a bid to keep pace with the exponential growth of online shopping, textile manufacturer Arvind Limited on Tuesday announced its entry into the e-commerce space with the launch of a custom clothing brand, Creyate. The company said this is the first among a series of online-retail initiatives that would be announced over the next year.

To create a firm footing in the e-commerce space, Arvind Limited has set up a subsidiary called Arvind Internet Limited (AIL), which will anchor all the company's e-commerce initiatives. The firm has a 50-member team at AIL, which is based out of Bangalore.

“We believe that e-commerce would be one of the major growth drivers for Arvind moving forward, and we aim it to be a Rs 1,000-crore plus business in three years,” said Kulin Lalbhai, executive director of Arvind Limited. Lalbhai would be driving the e-commerce initiatives at Arvind Limited.

Arvind Limited is the manufacturer of garments under brands such as Flying Machine, Colt and Excalibur. The company also has retail brands such as Megamart, Next and Club America. Arvind Limited has licence for selling products of several global brands such as Arrow, Elle and US Polo Assn, and a joint venture in India with Tommy Hilfiger.

Creyate, which is the first of its kind custom clothing brand, allows consumers to create a garment on a three-dimensional (3D) visualisation engine. On the Creyate website, buyers can mix and match from several designs and patterns and create garments to suit their needs. Arvind Limited has so far invested close to Rs 20 crore into building capacities for Creyate, Lalbhai said adding that the company would scale up investment going forward.

The entire manufacturing lifecycle of garments under the Creyate brand is automated, and based on technology that AIL has built internally. Garments for the new brand will be manufactured at two of Arvind Limited's existing units in Bangalore.

The company expects Creyate to become a Rs 100-crore brand by next year.

While he refrained from sharing the details into the investments the company is making to establish itself in the e-commerce space, Lalbhai said Creyate will have a capital outlay of about Rs 20 crore over the next one year.

Arvind Limited will also launch brick-and-mortar stores under the Creyate brand, which will allow buyers to customise their garments using the same 3-D technology inside stores. The company has so far launched Creyate stores in Bangalore and Ahmedabad and plans to expand to all major metro cities over the next year.

“Creyate has plans of launching stores in 15 cities within the next year,” said Lalbhai. “Riding on Arvind group's supply chain prowess and manufacturing might, AIL is planning to take Creyate to global consumers next year starting with the US market, where online custom clothing is a large thriving market,” he added.

The online apparel retail and fashion segments in India have gathered steam in recent months, with several large players such as Jabong and Myntra battling for customer attention. Recognising this as a lucrative segment, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart recently acquired Myntra to strengthen its presence there.

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First Published: Wed, August 20 2014. 00:47 IST