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India inspired us to build an online high street: CEO Koovs, Mary Turner

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The Indian e-commerce market is undergoing exceptional growth, estimated to increase by five times to $35 billion by 2020, driven by the rise of the Internet-connected middle class in key urban centres. Tapping into this growing segment is fashion e-store,
The e-commerce venture, with offices in both Delhi (Gurugram) and London, runs on an inventory-led model at a time when most businesses have taken to the marketplace model. Yet holds its own amidst the likes of Myntra and Jabong.
It has on offer over 150 international brands and exclusive style collaborations, apart from its own private label and aims to become a market leader in the affordable fashion segment by 2020.
However, was not always a fashion commerce site. The e-commerce company changed its business model multiple times before settling on fashion.
In an exclusive conversation with Indiaretailing Bureau, CEO, Mary Turner talks about how Koovs became a high street fashion destination, and the survival and growth strategies of the company.
By and large India’s population is conventional when it comes to fashion. What was your inspiration / idea behind launching a global high street fashion website?
India has a growing and significant youth population. This is the segment of the population who follow and understand global trends and consume information through social and digital medium. We are targeting this segment of the population which is growing rapidly from $ 0.7 billion in 2016 to $ 3.3 billion in 2020. This is the market that inspired us to build an online ‘high street’ fashion destination for the style conscious youth of India.
ALSO READ: HT Media buys 8.2 pc stake in fashion e-tailer Koovs
The global lifestyle e-commerce market is touted to hit $35 billion by 2020. What steps are you taking to access this growth market?
Our strategy is to be focused on our target demographic and differentiate the Koovs brand through our private label collection designed exclusively at the London Studio, selected edits across famous international and domestic brands and our exclusive high profile designer collaborations. Together this gives us the opportunity to stand out as a differentiated player in the market. There is clear white space to become the undisputed brand for affordable, trend-led western fashion.
With so many mergers, acquisitions, and exclusive brand (both online & offline) tie-ups, what is the survival and growth strategy of Koovs?
Consolidation is often a feature of a developing market, but so is specialization. The internet is a very democratic space and specialist, single vertical specialist brands like Koovs with a clearly defined target market and brand positioning has the opportunity to build significant business based on unique customer proposition and brand identity.
What is on offer on this festive season?
Our next coming collection for October is a capsule range created in collaboration with renowned London based designer Hattie Steward. Following this in November we will be launching Gauri & Nainika for KOOVS. The range is an ultimate dress collection and is aimed at the party season, comprising of red carpet styles, gowns and dresses.
READ MORE: Ex-Quasar CEO joins Koovs as Marketing Head
Omnichannel or app-only platform – what can we expect from Koovs in the future?
Koovs is screen and platform egnostic. Our aim is to provide the easiest and most accessible online service for customers to discover and transact with us. This is ideal for the Indian market, where organized bricks and mortar retail is very limited.
Koovs’ GMV target at the beginning of this year was Rs 100 crore. How close are you to reaching this target? What strategies are being used to reach this target?
We have already achieved our GMV target of Rs 100 crore for FY 2016. We have seen a 189 per cent increase in annual sales (Rs 981 million) and 110 per cent increase in website visits Y-o-Y, with weekly traffic now consistently exceeding one million visits per week. These are very promising figures. The strategy going forward, is to continue to focus on the affordable western wear segment and build a strong and distinctive brand.
When do you expect to break even?
As per our business plan we aim to be profitable in the next three years.

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