Five-year-old fashion ecommerce site Limeroad is set to join the growing chorus of brand visibility by planning to enter brick-and-mortar retailing. Backed by Tiger Global Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Matrix Partners India, this endeavour by the fashion portal will set the tempo and rhythm of the brand.
“You can experience fast fashion through those stores,” said Suchi Mukherjee, founder of the Gurugram-based firm which caters to both men and women’s fashion and lifestyle. All stores selling multi-branded products will be owned and operated by sellers on its platform. The first Limeroad store will come up in Surat, Gujarat in coming two months.
Eyeing to expand its base across India, the fashion brand plans to open 2,000-3,000 stores in couple of years, all run by the sellers. The brand Limeroad will be franchised to them along with logistics and marketing support for this new endeavour by the company.
Limeroad is set to join the herd of fast-fashion retailers who have already kicked the door of physical stores, like Myntra and FabAlley, Lingerie brand Zivame, eyewear retailer Lenskart, and furniture firms Urban Ladder and Pepperfry.
“It is still an under-retailed country. Online is mostly for products you know you are buying but it (offline stores) is a great way for our consumers to know your brand. That is why physical stores become important,” said Harminder Sahni, founder of retail consultancy Wazir Advisors.
“If you are creating a brand then you need to have physical stores,” she added.
Having raised about $50 million in three rounds of funding from angel investors like Matrix Partners, Tiger Global, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, Limeroad is rapidly and cautiously increasing its limbs from online retailing to brick-to-mortar stores. The brand initially started out targeting mainly women fashion and lifestyle but later on rolled out options for both men and kids. The brand’s online store now features user-generated ‘looks’ which mix and match interesting combinations of apparel and accessories.
FirstCry, an online baby products seller, is also in talks with investors to raise funds for its expansion and is now stretching its boutique stores that mainly contributes to its revenue.