The Arvind group seems to be on a roll this week. Their shares just hit a 52 week high. Quite possible that their agreement with GAP to open 50 outlets in India had something to do with that, not to forget their recent franchise arrangement with The Children’s Place, the largest American kids specialty apparel retailer, to open their stores in India.
But what has caught the attention of everyone is the new startup in the Arvind campus – Arvind Internet Ltd which has launched its custom clothing e-commerce brand – Creyate. Kulin Lalbhai, Executive Director of Arvind Ltd, is driving this initiative at the company.
“Arvind Internet Ltd will be the vehicle that will enable Arvind’s e-commerce vision. As pioneers in bringing global fashion to India, Arvind now intends to extend innovative and best in class brand experiences to the online world. We are all set to be a leading consumer lifestyle player in the digital space by engaging in several business models that can scale globally. Arvind sees e-Commerce as a key growth driver for the group and we aim to be Rs. 1000 Cr plus business in 3 years.” Says Kulin on the vision for Creyate.
The website itself is very engaging and lets you customize everything from suits to jeans. It also boasts of a decent collection for women. However, the customization part is yet to kick in for the fairer sex. The website feels a little slow, thanks to all the 3D rendering, which might be a hindrance especially for the tier 2 and 3 audience who might find more use for this product, but considering this is just the beta version, let’s assume this will be sorted very soon.
Creyate is not going to be an online-only store though. The company has plans of launching brick and mortar stores in 15 cities within the next year. It already has stores in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Delhi and offers home visits in major cities.
“Creyate can be experienced in our digitised retail stores or alternatively, one can visit our website to design garments online and then schedule a home visit by our ‘Style Stewards’. Style Stewards not only take a customer’s measurements, they also give them style advice and complete wardrobe solutions. And once measured, customers can ‘Creyate’ their own garments from anywhere and they will be delivered as per their exact fit at their door step.” says Tejinder Singh, Chief Operating Officer of Arvind Internet Ltd about the hybrid model.
On a side note, Bombay Dyeing, a 133 year old textile giant also plans to launch its own ecommerce site within a couple of months in addition to their presence on various marketplaces.
In the long run, can brick and mortar retail giants lead the online space? At least, the latest trends are pointing in that direction. What do you think?