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Arvind's audacious gamble with Nnnow.com
14
May '16
Courtesy: Arvind
Courtesy: Arvind
Textile and apparel maker Arvind is ready to unveil Nnnow.com to tap the growing digital influence of fashion shoppers in India.

The project which has been in the making for over a year, is the brainwave of Kulin Lalbhai, the younger son of Arvind Chairman and MD Sanjay Lalbhai. The 30-year-old Kulin says Nnnow is not a dot-com, but an omni-channel engine which will try and bring together the online and offline worlds.

"I know omni-channel is an oft-repeated term. It's confused with multi-channel sales. I need to be clear about what we are doing. This is simply Arvind's biggest wager in the last few decades," he told The Times of India The venture is arguably the Lalbhai family's most audacious gamble to reinvent fashion retailing which is being threatened by the growing penetration and influence of online retail.

Arvind Internet, which owns Nnnow, has built a team of 200 people, including a 70-member tech team, drawn from Google, McKinsey, Jabong and Myntra, among others. It is likely to lose money for a while ($10 million in the first year according to some estimates) but the vertical will play a significant role in boosting revenues for the group's fashion retail unit, he said.

Arvind currently owns and manages partnerships with a clutch of local and global brands such as Flying Machine, Arrow, US Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Gant, Nautica and Gap. It also runs beauty retailer Sephora and European department store chain Debenhams in India.

Nnnow will connect digital shoppers to every piece of merchandise from Arvind's warehouses, 50-odd brands and a network of more than 1,200 stores across 200 Indian cities. "It will be one of the most comprehensive merchandise offerings online even as our offline stores will see a spike in productivity as they get digitized. The future of our stores is no longer just a sales medium. It's an endless aisle," Lalbhai said.

According to J Suresh, CEO, Arvind Lifestyle Brands, offline stores lose as much as 15 per cent sales due to stockouts as the digital consumption is driving looks-based shopping. Nnnow will offer same-day delivery, click-and-collect (store pick-ups) facilities while the mobile app for the portal will be rolled out in July.

Lalbhai said the venture will look to add consumer analytics and intelligence to the customer's shopping experiences. "Merchandise availability is becoming crucial. We see Nnnow adding 8-10 per cent to the annualized revenue of Arvind Lifestyle Brands," he said.

The fashion retail unit last reported revenue of Rs 2,500 crore with a five-year compounded annual growth rate exceeding 25 per cent. At full consumer price, which is equivalent to gross merchandise value (GMV), sales will be topping Rs 5,000 crore. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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