It's been a little over a month that women-centric online fashion and lifestyle e-commerce company Fashionandyou acquired UrbanTouch and is now cross promoting each site even as action is hotting up in apparel e-tailing business. (The big daddy of Indian e-com, Flipkart has just added men's clothing to its offerings (the apparel segment).
Fashionandyou, which was founded in 2010, is amongst the most heavily funded apparel e-com firms in India having raised through multiple rounds over $50 million including the last round of $40 million in November 2011 led by Norwest Venture Partners and Intel Capital. Its other investors include Sequoia Capital India and Nokia Growth Partners. The firm is not looking at any further funding in the immediate future.
Techcircle.in caught up with Abhishek Goyal (UrbanTouch founder who has now become CEO of the combined venture) to get a quick snapshot of the business and the way forward at the Smile Group venture.
Traction, private label & margins
Fashionandyou is clocking anywhere between 5,000-8,000 transactions a day, claimed Goyal, who has filled the post vacated recently by Pearl Uppal.
He said the private label business, which was launched some six months back in bags and apparel segments, now contributes about 15 per cent of the total sales. The firm has eight private labels comprising some 3,000 SKUs.
Other apparel e-tailers who have private label brands include Zovi, Freecultr, Pepperfry and Myntra (which recently launched its private label). Private label, which essentially means an in-house brand created by a retailer (offline or online), is a high margin segment compared to retailing of apparel of other established brands, which in itself commands a relatively higher margin compared to other products.
According to Goyal, margins in the online apparel business are around 25-30 per cent as against for other products and in electronics, the margins are usually 10 per cent.
Everyday around 0.5 million users visit the websites (Fashionandyou and UrbanTouch) and their average time spent on the site is 30 minutes, according to him.
The company had previously said it is targeting sales of Rs 500 crore by 2013 and Goyal said the firm is on track to achieve it.
UrbanTouch integration & acquisitions
Though Fashionandyou has chosen to retain UrbanTouch as a separate site for now, unlike many other recent consolidation moves in the e-com space, both sites now sport an upfront link to each other cross promoting the two brands.
"Our focus is to bring together the catalogue feature of UrbanTouch and flash feature of Fashionandyou. We want to converge the two features successfully on the website," said Goyal, who had started UrbanTouch in January 2011.
He said the firm will be able to manage the inventory better now. "The products will be sold through catalogue and then later they can be sold through flash also at heavy discounts. Since, flash and catalogue will be under the same umbrella, managing inventory will be easier," said Goyal.
On further plans for inorganic expansion, Goyal said: "We are still open to acquisitions. If we get a good team, we will acquire specifically in the technology or merchandising space, which can add value to our niche in the women apparel segment. The deal value will be lower than UrbanTouch though."
Fashionandyou had not disclosed the transaction value for UrbanTouch but sources had told Techcircle that the deal value is somewhere in the region of $10 million.
The company has 1,500 employees, out of which 225 have joined from UrbanTouch.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)