Fashion and lifestyle brand Yepme has decided to continue being a single brand retailer as it helps in cutting costs and expanding margins.
CEO & Co-founder Yepme, Vivek Gaur, said in an exclusive interview to Indiaretailing, “The cost of building a single brand is so expensive that even doing two brands does not seem viable. So we will continue being a single brand retailer.”
He further added, “We don’t think being a single-brand retailer is challenging simply because margins are always better when you concentrate on your own single brand.”
Many brands are considering turning into single-brand retailers so that they can sell directly to consumers without foregoing foreign investments.
Yepme has recently expanded its Omnichannel presence by branching out into brick-and-mortar stores. By bringing the online shopping experience to an offline platform, the brand is giving its customers a taste of touch and feel.
The idea behind offline retail for Yepme is to let consumers try on clothes, find the best fit and then buy products they are a 100 per cent satisfied with.
“The ever increasing fashion conscious Indians of today demand to see their favourite online brands offline too, in order to touch and feel the products. Hence, Yepme is expanding and providing multiple retailing platforms to customers for a more enhanced shopping experience,” says Gaur.
To add to the overall shopping experience, Yepme’s brick-and-mortar stores have digital screens where customers can browse the online store as well and place orders, if for instance they don’t find their size in the physical store. The brand has successfully managed to sync both the physical and e-store with real time pricing.
Gaur tells Indiaretailing, “We are not slaves to the retailing format. What happens to Zara, H&M and any other brand is that they get stuck if do not get the desired space in a particular mall. That is not a constraint with us. We want our brand to reach our customers, so we are ready to open stores in any mall. There is no store size constraint for us either, unlike many other brands who need huge spaces.”
Yepme, which already operates a chain of Yepme branded physical outlets, plans to open more such stores in the coming months across Delhi/ NCR and other major cities. The idea is to make Yepme ‘the’ Indian e-commerce giant which pioneered Omnichannel in the country.
Gaur says, “We are looking forward to opening more franchise stores across India and have zeroed in on a few locations – Mall of India in Noida, Meerut, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Nasik and Nagpur. We want to be present in all the 550 district headquarters of India. We are also planning to open stores in all the big malls and then hit the high streets. Over the next two to three years, we want to open 500-600 odd outlets which will also double up as pseudo warehouses.”
“DLF Mall of India, Noida, will house two Yepme outlets with a carpet area of 7,800 sq ft. The outlets will be live by July 2017. One of the stores will be dedicated exclusively to footwear and accessories whereas the other to apparel,” Gaur elaborated.
All the three retail outlets of Yepme are franchise based outlets run on revenue sharing basis with the mall. The brand that has 12,000-14,000 SKUs delivers to all the pincodes in India. It registers 30-32 per cent of sales from bigger cities whereas the rest of it happens in small cities and towns.
“40 per cent of the sales happen in South India whereas Maharashtra and Gujarat and the four southern states amount to the remaining 55-60 per cent of the total sales,” Gaur added.
Last year, Yepme’s GMV stood at Rs 65 million and this year, the company is targeting a GMV of Rs 150 million.
Online vs Offline
“There are more offline consumers than online. Most big brands have a mind block as far as online is concerned. As a fashion brand, you have to see the reality of the business. 80 per cent of the customers who came to our first brick-and-mortar store then never visited our website because they didn’t think they could buy fashion online. We are hoping to convert these consumers into Omnichannel users over time,” Gaur says.
The Brand Story
The Gurugram-based company was started by Vivek Gaur and Sandeep Sharma in 2011. It sells private labels under the brand name Yepme in ethnic Indian wear and western wear for men and women.
The company, besides selling fashion wear on Yepme.com, also retails its products on marketplaces such as Flipkart, Myntra and Snapdeal. Marketplaces generate close to 30 per cent of overall sales for the company.
Yepme also started an international business, Yepmeworld.com, in April 2014. It currently sells to customers in the US and plans to expand its presence to others markets.
According to a Google India report released in March, the online fashion retail market is expected to touch $35 billion by 2020, constituting 35 per cent of the total online retail revenue generated in India. India is expected to generate $100 billion online retail revenue by 2020, according to the report.