From Online to Offline? Yepme To Open 400 Brick & Mortar Stores in this Fiscal
Gurgaon-based Online fashion marketplace, Yepme, opened its first offline stores in January 2016 at DT City Centre Mall Gurgaon. Since then the company has not looked back and opened three more stores in Gurgaon itself.
Now the company is planning to have 400 offline stores by this fiscal year and have presence in 550 districts in the next 4-5 years. Online marketplaces have come to realise the fact that offline presence cannot be completely eliminated, and it can equally entice a customer to purchase products in a physical shop.
Talking about the strategy, Vivek Gaur, CEO – Yepme, said, “By the end of this year (FY 2016-17), number of retail stores will be 400, which would be around 600,000 sq ft. Out of this 400 outlet, 20% will be metro and rest all in small scale town.”
Terming it omni channel retail, the offline stores will provide customers the benefit of touch and feel on quality of products from clothes to accessories – try them on to understand their best fit and buy products from the store.
Gaur also claims that the offerings at the store are at par with international standards. The store is interactive with large displays for customers to choose products from and buy it then and there from the kiosk itself.
YepMe will take the tried and tested Franchisee route to increase the number of offline stores – you can check out more details on their franchisee opportunities here.
Yepme’s Growth Strategy
Yepme plans to open 1000 outlets in the next 4-5 years, hoping for aggressive growth by this fiscal. These outlets will cover about 550 districts across India and allow Yepme to grow outside large cities as well.
According to Sandeep Sharma, COO – Yepme, 70% of the shipments are made to smaller towns, while the rest are made to cities. Customers can shop in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam which has had a direct impact on customer’s lifestyle.
Yepme has also gone ahead to make its home-made brand global, by selling its products on Amazon in the US and its own portal, yepmeworld. Having Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador speaks volumes about the growth of the company.
Even now, the company is mainly targeting inexpensive clothing and accessories which contribute to its higher sales in tier-2, tier-3 and tier-4 cities. With an omni channel strategy, the company should be able to cater to population that still trembles to buy anything online.
Can we see other players like Koovs & Fashion and You follow the same path? In which case it will become a really competitive market and we can see further cuts in prices and increase in discounts to attract new customers and retain existing ones. As for now, the two companies do not have any plans to launch offline stores.