The fact that the market for kids’ clothing and accessories has been dominated by offline shops and supermarkets is soon changing with several online retailers taking over this niche segment, the kids’ clothing industry is definitely riding new waves.
While globally, the 8-12 years old category tends to sell the most, in India the 0-2 years old category has the maximum takers. The rise of kidswear and related accessories in India has attracted both domestic and international players like Lilliput, Gini & Jony, Chicco, Mom & Me, Mothercare and Pigeon in the industry.
“The kidswear market in India is amongst the most lucrative segments in the apparel industry and it is influenced by changing consumer preferences, parents and children’s influence on buying patterns, age of the child and availability of greater choice.With growth in double-income earning families, working population and greater disposable income, the branded apparel market is expected to experience substantial gains in coming times. Parents today are constantly on the lookout for quality products at reasonable prices. Thus, the trend will continue in terms of great designs at reasonable prices,” says Supam Maheshwari, CEO and Founder, Firstcry.com.s
In India, Technopak estimates the apparel industry to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 percent, from US$ 41 billion in 2013 to US$ 102 billion in 2023. In 2013, the kidswear segment, at US$ 8.3 billion, alone contributed 20 percent of India’s entire apparel market. However, given its higher growth rate, this share is expected to increase to 22 percent by 2023. The kidswear market is skewed towards boyswear, estimated at US$ 4.3 billion, as compared to the US$ 4.0 billion-worth girlswear market. However, according to sources, the market for girlswear will grow at a CAGR of 11 percent over the next decade, while that for boyswear will see a rise by 10 percent. As a result, foreign brands are queuing up to enter this lucrative market. Companies are primarily focusing on driving efficiency in supply chain, in product sourcing and assortment, warehousing and logistics in order to drive growth in the kids segment.
Specialised Online Retail Sites:
Not just offline stores but even specialised e-commerce for kids have gone viral. Websites like Firstcry, Hopscotch and Babyoye are some of the renowned brands that are offering lucrative online opportunities. A report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India in 2014 says that out of the total Internet population, 75 percent (i.e. 9 million) consists of youngsters. Out of this, 1.9 million users are kids and this segment has been experiencing a substantial 70 percent year on-year (YOY) growth.
Asia’s Largest Online Baby And Kids Store
Firstcry is, undoubtedly, India’s largest store for kids selling over 70,000 items from more than 700 top international and Indian brands. The company works on an omni-channel business model enjoying online presence and over 100 franchise stores across India including tier-I, -II and -III cities, and the stores operate under the brand Firstcry. They provide their customers with a mix of top international and Indian brands like Mattel, Ben 10, Pigeon, Funskool, Hot Wheels, Nuby, Farlin, Medela, Pampers, Disney, Barbie, Gerber, Fisher-Price, MeeMee, etc. Firstcry earns 20 percent of its revenue from mobile-based transactions.
“At Firstcry.com, we run a unique programme called Firstcry Gift Box, wherein we deliver a customised box to the new mothers in around 4,000 hospitals across the country. Through this programme, we plan to reach out to 1 million parents every year. As a niche player in the baby care segment, our endeavour is to make parenting a delightful experience by fulfilling maximum parenting requirements under one roof,” said Maheshwari.
Firstcry was founded by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha in 2010; it is owned by Brainbees Solutions, based in Pune. Prior to Firstcry, Maheshwari was one of the founders of Pune-based e-learning company Brainvisa Technologies,which was acquired by Indecomm Global Services for around US$ 25 million in 2007.
The company has recently raised Rs.82 crore from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, and existing investors IDG Ventures and Saif Partners, as published in the Economic Times. This is Firstcry’s third round of funding. Previously, Firstcry had raised US$ 4 million in 2011, and US$ 14 million in 2012.
The company also has a sister concern – an 18 month-old Goodlife.com – which is an online store for home and personal care products. Firstcry follows inventory-based model, shipping products across the country from four warehouses in Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata. Maheshwari expects the company’s business to turn cash-flow positive by 2014-15, with gross sales of about Rs.400 crore. Firstcry claims to have tapped 15 lakh parents so far, and is growing at 100 percentYOY.
The company will continue to grow more than 100 percent for next few years and is expecting a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of 250 million by 2015. Additionally, they wish to grow their store count to at least 300-400 stores, where at present they are adding 5-6 stores each month. They are able to keep the pricing at both formats same because of the savings they generate through individual customer orders, which is as much as 13 percent savings in the logistics side.
Babyoye was conceived in 2010, by husband-wife duo Sanjay Nadkarni and Arunima Singhdeo to provide the modern Indian parents an opportunity to access the best in pregnancy infant-care and mother-care products and services at the click of a button. The website is registered under Mumbai-based start-up Nest Childcare Services. Babyoye deals in categories such as baby care products, baby clothes, furniture, toys and accessories, books and maternity care. It works on the philosophy that every mother is unique and has her independent way of bringing up her baby.
It claims to have reached GMV of Rs.5.85 crore (US$ 0.95million) monthly. Sanjay Nadkarni, Founder and CEO of Babyoye said that the e-tailer has registered more than 100x growth since its inception in December 2010, and is doing around 1,500 orders a day with the average order value being of Rs.1,300.
Fifty to sixty percent of the orders at Babyoye come from top 8 cities and the rest from tier-II and -III cities. Private label currently contributes 12 percent to the total sales and this figure is expected to reach around 18 percent in the next 6-12 months. The website is backed by Accel Partners and Tiger Global. In last April, it acquired its competitor Bengaluru-based Hoopos in an all-stock deal signaling growing consolidation in the industry. The merged entity has also risen funding of US$ 12 million (Rs.64.8 crore) led by Helion Venture Partners with participation from Accel Partners and Tiger Global.
Hoopos, on the other hand, started operation in 2011 and was founded by Vijay Jumani, Radhika Jumani, Raveen Sastry and Anubhav Sudha. While, Raveen was the co-founder and former VP – Business Development at Myntra.com. The new entity is targeting around Rs.250 crore in revenue in two years,by which time the online baby care market should reach Rs.650 crore.
Finding Something New Each Day
An initiative of Harvard Business School alumni duo, Rahul Anand and Lisa Kennedy formed Hopscotch in 2012, to transform the way Indian mothers shopped for their kids. Hopscotch is an online store offering insider access to today’s top baby and kids brands from around the world, at unbeatable prices. Right from apparels and shoes to other goodies, Kennedy and Anand handpick the best styles and products for mothers, babies and children. Hopscotch is based on a flash boutique model where it brings a curated selection of merchandise for a limited time. Boutiques go live every morning at 9.30 a.m. and the mad rush runs for about 96 hours. Members receive a daily e-mail, where they are informed about the latest boutiques.
The website has two warehouses in Mumbai. The company has recently raised US$ 2 million, and the investment was led by Singapore-based Lion Rock Capital along with Nisaba Godrej, Skype co-founder Toivo Annus and Diapers.com’s CTO Wei Yan. The raised funds would be utilised in expanding the technology and increase the marketing activities at Hopscotch. Hopscotch is eyeing revenue of Rs.25 crore this fiscal (2014). Anand and Yan, CTO of Hopscotch, shared with Images Retail in February, 2014, as to why the flash sale model is gaining ground in India.“In India, the kidswear space is largely fragmented and mostly mass marketed. Over the last few years, the trend has moved towards wanting more comfort and quality at attractive prices. A lot of the discerning, educated moms shopping for their kids, therefore, struggle to find a balance of all three in the mass marketed products.This opens up a good opportunity for us. Hopscotch brings a curated selection of products, a large part of which is procured from overseas. Our offerings in apparel include well-known international brands like Carter’s, OshKosh B’gosh, Juicy Couture Baby, and Ralph Lauren Kids,” said Anand.
Premium Family Store
Yapaa, founded in March 2011, is an online baby product store and a one-stop solution for all baby products. The collection at Yapaa includes new born baby essentials, baby clothes, baby care products, apparels, toys, maternity personal care,cleaning products, colourful bedding and baby furniture.Yapaa is the business enterprise of Chocolate Retail, which is one of the family readymade garment destinations in Pune, Maharashtra and Surat,Gujarat.
They offer a wide range of around 25,000 baby and mom accessory products and stock that includes only fresh items.The growing Indian company offers some prominent brands such as Pampers, Chicco, Pigeon, Gerber, Cucumber, Zero, Heinz, Fisher-Price, and Funskool. The items are generally available at cheaper rates in the market and that makes it possible for the retail merchandiser to offer products at better discounts than its competitors.
The website today boasts of 5 lakh satisfied customers and 80,000 members. It also has an offline presence with two physical stores, which were opened in the last five years.
India’s favourite online kids’ store
Little Shop, incorporated in 1967, caters to the formative years of a child’s life – from 0-12 years – and has everything that is needed to make childhood a special joy.
Little Shop has stores in seven malls in Kolkata, in some of the prime locations such as South City Mall, Mani Square Mall, Forum Mall, Forum Courtyard, Avani Riverside Mall, City Centre and New Market. They have always believed in the policy of providing their customers with good quality products at the best possible prices. People travelling to Kolkata make sure to visit this preferred shopping destination to shop for their children. The newly launched online store is an attempt to offer customers across the country, the opportunity to shop for good quality baby products in the convenience of their own home. Best prices, good quality merchandise and excellent customer service are the three principles on which Little Shop has taken the step to foray into the online business from their brick-and-mortar retail business.
Online Kidswear Market Places:
These online marketplaces bring together the very best from independent sellers around the world. Aimed at parents with youngsters up to the age of 10 years, these websites are a one-stop shop for parents looking for high-quality, boutique children’s goods from independent sellers, designers and crafts people from around the world.
The online megastore
Flipkart offers a wide range of baby care products to cater to the needs of little ones. The site has brands like Johnson & Johnson, MeeMee, Chicco, Medela, MamyPoko, Huggies, Farlin, Pigeon, Pampers, Himalaya, Nuby, Advance Baby, Sunbaby, Mothertouch, Little Kangaroos and Mini Cupcake. With convenient payment options like cash-on-delivery (CoD), net banking and credit or debit cards, shopping is all the more fun, safe and hassle-free at Flipkart. The shopping site also boasts of having efficient after-sales services in terms of easy returns and replacement policies to ensure utmost customer satisfaction.
Snapdeal brings a comprehensive collection of toys and clothing for kids. One can choose from educational toys, soft toys, dolls and dollhouses, toys for toddlers, clothing,footwear and much more. The toys for kids at Snapdeal are made of durable and food-grade plastic, which is safe to use.
Online shopping destination
The baby store on Amazon.in has a range of baby products divided into various categories including nursing and feeding, nursery furniture, diapering and nappy changing, baby care, baby gift sets, baby carriers, strollers and prams,car seats and accessories. There is an exhaustive list of new born baby products that are must-haves at this shopping site. Leading brands like Chicco, Nuby, Pampers, Pigeon, Hauck, Medela, Johnson’s Baby, MeeMee, MamyPoko, Huggies and many more are available on the website.
Fashion and lifestyle served on a plate
Ohnineone (091) is a one-stop online fashion destination for all age groups. They are present across various categories ranging from women, men and kidswear to accessories, home décor and lifestyle products showcasing products for common occasions, festivals and even seasons. They offer not only Indian ethnic but contemporary and western collections as well. Ohnineone features high-street fashion, which is updated daily with new content, products and offers, which are viewed by millions of fashion enthusiasts.
Being a Mompreneur
With over 200 brands in its kitty, the website has at present nearly 50 mompreneurs who promote their products ranging from hand-knitted clothes, blankets, aprons, maternity wear; fashion accessories including bands, bracelets, hair clips, jewellery, caps, bags, masks, stationary furniture, bedspread, curtains, storage bins, etc. The website showcases brands like Azura, BabyOBaby, Anmol Wraps,Banz, Kute Kids, Head to Toe, Original Knit, Lime n Ginger, etc.
Best Indian Designers’ Offline Stores With Online Presence:
With multiple rounds of funding to some of the leading e-commerce firms, the apprehensions about the survival of e-commerce businesses are beginning to clear. For any retailer, opening more and more offline stores is surely capital-intensive as compared to the online channel, which definitely sounds like a viable option. One of the important aspects in today’s tech-savvy world is to have online presence. The first thing that a customer tends to do is to find the retailer on Google or Facebook. Online visibility automatically increases the level of trust in the brand. Also, it gives an added advantage to showcase the product lines on the online channel. So, in today’s time, it has become critical to be online.
More than Just an Art
Kidology offers high-quality fashion ready-to-wear kids’ clothing and accessories. The brainchild of Karina Rajpal, Neha Sachar Mittal and Ankur Mittal, Kidology came into being when the three friends decided to develop an Indian fashion brand for infants and kids inspired by the design sensibilities of Indian designers. The collection at Kidology incorporates western, Indian, as well as fusion inspirations, unique contemporary designs, high-quality fabrics and exquisite tailoring works of prominent Indian designers like Gauri & Nainika Karan, Malini Ramani, Nandita Basu, Siddhartha Tytler, Gaurav Gupta, etc.Kidology also showcases Limited Edition collections from designers like Ritu Kumar, Rabani & Rakha, Nee & Oink, Lil Prachee, Lil Puppets and Precious Threads.
The label launched with a flagship store at DLF Promenade Mall in Delhi. Their second exclusive store was opened in Mumbai in May 2011, followed by the third store at Pacific Mall in Delhi. It is also sold from Anhaita in Hyderabad, De Elite and The First Shop in Kolkata, Smitten and Bubbles & Giggles in Dubai. Kidology has exhibited in major cities across India and also in Dubai, London and New York with plans of further expansion in other major cities in India and globally.
The kidswear collection at Kidology caters to the age group spanning 0-10 years and offers customised options for teenagers as well! Kidology stores also showcase an exclusive kids’ furniture line using non-toxic polishes that are safe for kids. It is being created by Karina Rajpal and Mallika Vadehra.
Pretty, posh and playful
Little Pixie was founded by Nishita Toprani. The website has collections designed for girls aged 2-7 years old. The designer label follows the style ‘Pretty, Posh and Playful’ – a unique combination of classic and vintage, and creates clothes for little girls that are stylish, unique, beautifully crafted and extremely comfortable to wear.
For the Soft Tiny Hands & Cute Li’l Toes
Mom & Me is a retail venture of the Mahindra Group and the flagship of Mahindra Retail. The brand caters to the various needs of moms and moms-to-be, from the time of start of pregnancy till post-delivery up to six years old. The brand covers a huge range of products under maternity and ethnic fashion, infants and kid’s apparel, mother and baby wellness, infant furniture, toys and games. They are currently expanding across most major cities and towns in India and have already crossed 100 stores, while many more are opening every day pan India.
Fashion at Affordable Price
Founded by Meena Bindra, Biba has been dressing and embellishing demure maidens from across the countrysince 1986. The word ‘biba’ is a Punjabi endearment for a young and pretty girl. The brand commits to fashion enthusiasts contemporary ethnic fashion at affordable prices. They offer ethnicwear, which includes kurtas, lehenga for festivewear and even Patiala salwars and tights to go for the bottoms in a great range of colours, fabrics and designs. Biba clothing is available through all leading online and offline retailers across the country.
The Gifiting Gallery
Techaccino Solutions, which introduced Partybounty in February 2012, recently launched its new label Kidsbounty. Kidsbounty is an online portal catering to all requirements of a
birthday and gifting in the kids’ space. The company is funded and backed by Rohit Verma, Raj Singh and Samir Kohli, with an idea to become a niche kids’ product supplier including kids’ apparel, accessories, room décor, personalised gifts, bath and bedding, toys, accessories and much more.
Launched around a month ago, Kidsbounty provides a wide range of products for kids including kids’ apparels. The website has recently released its own luxury kids clothing brand – Herberto. According to Kohli, there is a big gap in the kid’s partywear segment and Herberto will try to position in this opportunity. It will also be available on affiliate sites in coming weeks.
Fabindia (Fabindia Overseas) is an Indian chain retailing handmade garments, furnishings, fabrics and ethnic products by craftspeople across rural India. Established in 1960 by John Bissell, an American working for the Ford Foundation, New Delhi. Fabindia started out exporting home furnishings, before stepping into domestic retail in 1976, when it opened its first retail store in Greater Kailash – I, Delhi. Today, the brand has over 170 stores across India and abroad, and is managed by Bissell’s son, William Bissell. Fabindia is India’s largest private platform for products that are made from traditional techniques, skills and hand-based processes.
Fabindia links over 55,000 craft-based rural producers to modern urban markets, thereby creating a base for skilled, sustainable rural employment, and preserving India’s traditional handicrafts in the process. The products at Fabindia’s are natural, craft based, contemporary, and affordable.
The brand’s kid’s collection offers cotton kurta, churidaar, salwar-sets, lehenga-choli, kurta for girls and kurta and dhoti sets for boys. They also have a variety of accessories and bags in their repertoire.
Global Online Kidswear Industry:
Globally, the market for children wear is projected to reach US$ 156 billion (over Rs.9,65,000 crore) by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts (GIA), a US-based market research company. Experts attribute it to the fact that the birth of a baby and a baby’s first birthday are big events in Indian families, involving a lot of gifting.
The global baby care product industry supplies to around 4 million babies in a year, generating revenues from retail outlets, both online and brick and mortar, worth nearly US$ 7 billion, according to Packaged Facts industry statistics.
Unique & Whimsical Children’s Clothing
As a family-owned company based out of Concord, California, Le Top proudly designs clothing and accessories for children aged between 0-7 years old. After many years of selling the irresistible and whimsical children’s clothing in specialty boutiques and upscale department stores all across the US, it came as a surprise to learn that Le Top was originally founded almost by accident. Back in 1978, people were tired of the polyester-infused clothing, and Paul’s thick, quality combed cotton interlock shirts were a welcome change. To this day Le Top is known for the soft, natural fibre they use in fabrics, which is both designed and manufactured by them.
Every product decision Le Top has made has come from listening to their customers, understanding what they love, and envisioning what they would like to see next. They have recently introduced their online boutique offering select Le Top items for sale directly through their website.
Unisex, Ethical & Funky
The brand is so good that they literally named it thrice. Loveitloveitloveit is the home of unisex, ethical and funky clothes for babies and children. The website is known for its collection of bright, organic and practical kids’ clothing. The website specialises in brightly coloured, fun, unisex clothes for kids. The store has tie-ups with some cool Scandinavian brands, such as Duns Sweden and Ej Sikke Lej. The former produce some eye-catching prints and what fashion magazines would probably call loungewear, including this planetary zip-up jumper, which really ought to be made in larger sizes as a sort of official Nasa uniform. The Guardian has placed it at Number 1 in ‘Top 10 ethical places to shop for children’s clothes’ April 2013 and Best for kid’s clothes in ‘Christmas gift ideas: 10 super sites for shopping’ November 2012.
The Net-a-porter for Under 14-year-olds
Founded in London in 2007, by husband and wife duo Alex Theophanous and Alexa Till. Alexandalexa aims to bring the world’s best kids’ brands to discerning parents at the click of a button. Alexandalexa is the global style destination for kids, offering over 200 coveted international fashion, sportswear and toy brands, from the traditional to the cutting-edge, via worldwide express delivery. Alexandalexa offers the world’s best kids’ clothes and footwear, from a huge spectrum of designers for children aged up to 16 years old. The website boasts of coveted brand names such as Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney and Little Marc Jacobs.
Your Next Online Purchase
The Children’s Place is the largest pure-play children’s specialty apparel retailer in North America. The company designs, contracts to manufacture and sells fashionable, high quality merchandise at affordable prices, primarily under the proprietary ‘The Children’s Place’ brand name. As of November1, 2014, the company operated 1,117 stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, an online store at www.childrensplace.com, and had 67 international stores operated by its franchise partners. The company was also involved in operating Disney Stores between 2004 and 2007 through a subsidiary – Hoop Holdings and Hoop Retail Stores. In the summer of 2013, the store withdrew a t-shirt from the stores with four options for ‘My best subjects’ including ‘Shopping, Music, Dance and Math.’ While shopping, music, and dance were checked, math was left unchecked, as the t-shirt stated ‘Nobody’s perfect.’
When the World is Filled with Colour, Everything is a Possibility
Tootsa MacGinty collections are styled with clothes that are bright and cheerful and as colourful as a paintbox. They are designed so that kids can run, jump and play in them and feel comfortable all day long. Riding a bike, scooting along the pavement or whizzing down the slide in the park is easy peasy with Tootsa MacGinty.It was one of the first UK companies to bring unisex kidswear to a marketplace overcrowded with camoflage and combustible princess-pink rayon. The designs are made to please kids as well as adults, with details like a cute animal pocket in which to put your foldaway mac, or a bear pocket that unzips to roar at you (note: roaring noise not included). All their clothes are manufactured in Portugal.
Luxury Brand for Little People
Established in 1990, Childsplay Clothing is recognised for their excellence in style, choice and superb customer service. Based in Ilford in Essex, as one of the largest, exclusive independent children designer stores in the country, the website offers those sought after labels and the latest creations from the world’s most respected designers and brands such as Armani, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci, I Pinco Pallino, Missoni, Ralph Lauren,Roberto Cavalli, Scotch & Soda and many more. The brand’s stores offer a wide range of kids’ designer clothes, footwear and accessories for new-born babies, juniors and teenagers from 0-16 years old. The stores are named as ICE.
It is an Honour to Dress your Family
Lollywollydoodle is an online children’s clothing company started by Brandi Temple, a likable local mom who had never held a corporate job when she started posting her homemade dresses on the Web five years ago. Lollywollydoodle brought in about US$ 11 million in 2013, and it has roughly doubled its revenue every year since its inception in 2009. The company expects its revenue to double again this year. Last June, Revolution Growth, a fund started by AOL co-founder Steve Case, invested US$ 20 million in the company, and (of course) aims to make it a multibillion-dollar brand.
Nonstop Style Inspiration Tailored for You
ShopStyle is the leading digital destination for the best in fashion, beauty, style and home. An innovative site merging content and commerce, ShopStyle provides its visitors with style inspiration and seamless shopping, powered by a global search engine with access to over 12 million products from the best stores and brands across the Web. A shopper can enjoy hours of personalised shopping powered by ShopStyle’s shopping search engine, see what is trending and discover new brands, stores, and bloggers, share their own looks and favourite products with friends and the Fave community, and make purchases as well. The company operates sites internationally in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and UK. POPSUGAR Inc. Draws over 70 million users worldwide and infl uences over a billion dollars in annual retail revenue. The website is accessible via desktop, mobile, tablet and app.
Once upon a time there was a clothing brand that spoke the language children speak Bobo Choses was created in 2008, by the catalan art directors Laia Aguilar and Adriana Esperalba. The idea behind Bobo Choses was to create a friendly clothing brand that would relate to children in their own language. Each Bobo Choses collection is a fantastic world on its own, with its singular illustrated characters and its own story. As a result, the collections are fun, unique and meaningful for children. The first collection, The Englishman & the Sitting Bull autumn-winter 2009, had a wonderful reception by both public and media. Since then Bobo Choses has grown constantly: the clothes and accessories are sold in some of the most renowned department stores and selected shops in over 30 countries from around the world.
Passion, innovation and ethical practices for the clothing industry American Apparel, an American clothing manufacturer, distributor, and retailer based in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Dov Charney in 2003. It is a vertically integrated clothing manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer that also performs its own design, advertising, and marketing. It is best known for making basic, solid-colour cotton knitwear such as t-shirts and underwear, but in recent years it has expanded to include leggings, leotards, tank-tops, vintage clothing, dresses, pants, denim, nail polish, bedding and accessories for men, women, children, babies, and dogs in various prints and colours. Its stores are spread over 273 locations today.
Count on Carter’s
Carter’s Inc., also known as the William Carter Company, is a major American manufacturer of children’s apparel. Founded in 1865 by William Carter, the company previously made underwear for adults. Carter’s acquired competitor OshKosh B’gosh in 2005.
Carter’s is a leading brand of children’s clothing, gifts and accessories in America, selling more than 10 products for every child born in the US. Their designs are based on a heritage of quality and innovation that has earned them the trust of generations of families. Throughout the years, Carter’s has been known for its thoughtful little details like the Handi-Cuff mitten sleeve that protects babies from self-scratching, and the Jiffon neck design that slips over little ears for easy outfit changes. Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh clothing and accessories are sold at over 600 company-owned retail stores, as well as thousands of national department stores and some of the country’s largest retailers, such as Babies“R”Us®, Belk®, Bon-Ton®, JCPenney®, Kohl’s®, Macy’s®, and Sears®.Their brands include Carter’s, OshKosh B’gosh, Child of Mine, Just One You, and Genuine Kids.
Uniqlo is a Japanese casualwear designer, manufacturer and retailer. In 1984, Fast Retailing, headed by Tadashi Yanai, opened the first Uniqlo store in Hiroshima, Japan. Since then, the brand has evolved from a chain of roadside stores to an international leader in style, quality, and fashion. In addition to Japan, the company operates in Australia, Bangladesh, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and US. The brand aims at becoming the world’s biggest specialty retailer of private label apparel with a continuous growth rate of 20 percent per year. Uniqlo currently has over 1,400 stores in 16 markets worldwide. In creating its clothing line, Uniqlo embraces both shun and kino-bi. Shun means ‘timing, best timing, but also at the same time it is a trend,’ something that is updated and just in time, neither early nor late. The company offers clothing basics that are current and that respond to what is going on today in the realms of art and design. Kino-bi means function and beauty, joined together: the clothing is presented in an organised, rational manner, and that very organisation and rationality creates an artistic pattern and rhythm. All these qualities refl ect the defining characteristics of modern Japanese culture.
Spanish success story
Zara is a Spanish clothing and accessories retailer based in Arteixo, Galicia. The brand was founded in 1975, by Amancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera and it is one of the largest international fashion companies operating globally today. The customer is at the heart of Zara’s unique business model, which includes design, production, distribution and sales through their extensive retail network. The strong customer orientation gave rise, years later, to the launch of the first Zara store in 1975. This was followed by the brand’s international expansion at the end of the 1980s, and the successive launch of new retail concepts: Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe.
It is claimed that Zara needs just two weeks to develop a new product and get it to stores, compared to the six-month industry average, and launches around 10,000 new designs each year. Zara has resisted the industry-wide trend towards transferring fast fashion production to low-cost countries. Perhaps its most unusual strategy was its policy of zero advertising; the company preferred to invest a percentage of revenues in opening new stores instead.
American Multinational Clothing & Accessories Retailer
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women and children under the Gap brand where Banana Republic presents a sophisticated image and Old Navy focuses on ‘fun, fashion and value’ for families and younger customers. Besides these two labels, Gap Inc. also has the well-known Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix brands. Gap products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,200 company-operated stores, almost 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. As of February 2, 2013, Gap Inc. had 3,065 company-owned store locations. Gap originally targeted the younger generation with its name referring to the generation gap of the time. It originally sold everything that Levi Strauss and Co. made in every style, size, and colour, and organised the stock by size.
The brand was the first of many shops that carried only Levi’s, which led to a worldwide shortage of Indigo denim. Gap eventually started making their own jeans and selling them at the expense of jeans from Levi’s.
Specialised Indian Sites Which Recently Shut Operations India has witnessed a slew of e-commerce casualties over the last couple of years. A string of e-commerce start-ups had shut shop due to multiple reasons like staggering customer acquisition costs, stiff competition and lack of fresh capital.
Kidswear e-tailer Unamia.com, run by Bengaluru-based Appcity Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd., shut down its operations in what marked another consolidation in kids’ products e-commerce vertical. Unamia was started as a private label brand for children’s apparels. Launched in 2012, Unamia offered kidswear for the newborn, as well as for children aged up to eight years. The firm directly competed with players like Firstcry, Babyoye, Hushbabies, Inkyponky and Mahindra Retail’s hybrid offl ine-online property Mom & Me, besides various other e-commerce sites which offered kidswear.
The e-commerce site Skoolshop was recently acquired by Hopscotch.in. Founded in July 2011, Skoolshop was a brand of Occasion Kommerce Pvt. Ltd., which offers all education related products including books, stationery, educational games, tablets, apps, etc. The merger took place realising the synergies between the two companies. The acquisition was expected to expand Skoolshop’s customer base and also provide them with a large vendor base. Since its inception, the company has raised two rounds of investments. Today, the site’s independent operation has been shut down and the page redirects to Hopscotch.in.
Allschoolstuff.com, after selling over a million school related and learning products, has closed down its operations. The site was active for three years during which it raised US$ 1 million. Its failure to raise another round of funding was the cause for the closure. (via NextBigWhat)
Mangostreet was the first e-commerce company in the kids sector in India to offer a whopping 25,000 to 30,000 options. They had options based on kids-related activities like school, tuition or hobby classes. Their aim was to make it a pleasurable experience for the parents and offer them value for their money, variety and save time for all the working parents. The company had tied up with big brands like Barbie, Top Man and Hannah Montana among others. The e-commerce venture saw a buy-out last year, when Hushbabies acquired the Delhi-based Mangostreet.com.
Hushbabies, founded in 2009, by Veena Dhinakar and husband Kris Vidhyasagar, is an online website that caters for maternity and baby care needs. The categories offered at Hushbabies included toys, books, health care products, games, baby products, clothing, furniture, feeding and new-mom essentials. They portal had tie-ups with wellknown national and international brands such as Fisher- Price, Funskool, Disney, Pigeon, Medela, Philips Avent, Chicco, Playskool, Leapfrog, Pampers, Himalaya, Parragon, Mothercare, Gini & Jony, Johnson & Johnson, Dora, Garfield, Baby Genius, Huggies and Nestlé. Hushbabies, which was operating out of Okhla in Delhi, vacated its office in August and moved its operations to Coimbatore, and then last month it stopped operations, according to sources in the company.
Online toy store Wopshop shut down but the founders continued their entrepreneurial journey with another venture – Pokkt. Babyoye acquired Hoopos but later shut it down. Babyoye has been looking to raise capital for long but has not been able to do so and the market has consolidated around the most funded peer Firstcry.
Other Recent e-Commerce News
Crocs India Pvt. Ltd., which is currently selling only imported footwear, made out of a type of plastic, will be testmarketing a range of children’s apparel through an online channel and will consider introducing it at physical stores over the next few months. The company will fill the void in the market for fun, colourful, quality apparel for children where parents don’t have much of a choice in the organised market. The brand is testing its range of T-shirts, hoodies, leggings and tank-tops, among others.
While Kapsons having six formats under its fold, including a kidswear chain, Kapkids, youthwear chain Krome and online store Kapsonsonline recorded same-store sales(SSS) growth of 6 to 8 percent in the December quarter of 2013–14. It registered a turnover of Rs.290 crore and a net profit of Rs.10.5 crore.
Beebay too is riding high on the e-commerce wave. The brand sells its merchandise on own e-commerce site‘beebayonline’ and other leading online shopping sites in India and internationally. “Online sales contribute almost 30 percent to our total revenue,” disclosed Avinash Jain, its director. The company is also experimenting with online virtual shopping concept in its physical stores.