Why Vanity Wagon is Focusing on Offline Expansion for Growth
Why Vanity Wagon is Focusing on Offline Expansion for Growth

Vanity Wagon, started in 2018 as a clean beauty platform centered around information and community building, has recently launched its first kiosk in New Delhi at Select City Walk.

Explaining the reason for entering the offline retail market, Prateek Ruhail, Co-Founder and CEO, Vanity Wagon said, “Our inspiration comes from the fact that consumers have become omnichannel. During the Covid times, we were focused on the digital channel because we realized that's where most of the consumers work. But now with the changing times, brands need to create space where consumers can touch, feel, and understand the products that are being sold, which is not possible with a digital-first approach. Of the 280 brands that we operate currently, they are all focused online and the problem is consumers have never felt those products unless they buy them. Hence, we thought it was the right time to start exploring the offline channels.”

Additionally, if the brands only have an online presence, they are restricting themselves to digital users of certain age groups. However, when the brand comes into the offline space, it is also exposing itself to a younger and older crowd, which is waiting get out of their homes, touch the product, and purchase.

“Offline channel also helps in building trust in the brand. The audience connects with your brand more if they're able to experience and touch the products. This increases the brand value as well,” stated Naina Ruhail, Co-Founder and CIO, Vanity Wagon.

Products on Offer in Kiosk

The brand is currently offering five brands in its kiosk - Color Chemistry, Suganda, Love Earth, Power Gummies, and Better Beauty. Its mid-range clean beauty skincare products will include Lipsticks, Kohl, Sunscreen, Hair Styling Gels, Shampoos, and other categories, from the above-mentioned clean brands.

Talking about the reason why Vanity Wagon is showcasing only five brands in its kiosk instead of the complete portfolio, Prateek asserted, “We've observed that a lot of small setups tend to be very crowded. What that does is not only confuse the customer but also not give out the correct message about the entire catalog. Why we have registered with five brands is because we understand the space, which we want to offer. So the current space in our kiosk per brand would be like a 9 sq ft, which is good enough for a small brand to feature.”

Why Vanity Wagon is Focusing on Offline Expansion for Growth

Focus on Private Labels

Vanity Wagon currently owns only one private label brand - ‘Better Beauty’.

It is planning to soon to launch another label that would be specific for hotels, and cater to the skin care and hair care category.

“Better Beauty currently contributes about 5 percent of our overall sales. By this year's end, we want at least 20 percent of our portfolio to be covered by our own labels in terms of revenue,” Prateek further added.

Expansion Plans

The brand’s offline expansion will be focused on Tier I and II cities. Initially, the focus will be to expand in Delhi and then to expand to the South in cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai.

“We would deploy 10 touch points in the next six months. These could be kiosks, stores, or shop-in-shops. We would be opening them in malls and high-street markets,” Naina noted.

“We expect the offline channel to contribute around 40 percent of our overall sales. When you create a digital market, every customer is brought by you, whereas with offline, that's not the case. The footfall of a mall or a market will contribute to your own and that helps scale offline quickly,” explained Prateek.

The brand is also planning to enter the international markets. It would be targeting the GCC region as a lot of case studies have shown Indian brands doing well in the UAE, especially in Saudi and Qatar. So GCC as a whole region is much reciprocated towards Indian-centered products.

READ MORE: How Bright is the Future of Clean Beauty Brands in India

Enabling Technology in Stores

The brand is trying to integrate AI into its stores. An interesting technology that is available today is where anyone could walk into a store and scan their face to understand what skin type they have, and what product they should use. So this is the technology that Vanity Wagon could potentially deploy in future.

Besides, real-time digital checkout is something that the brand is trying to work on, which is different from somebody walking to a representative and asking for a bill or a checkout. “We would want to install self-checkout devices at our store,” Prateek concluded.

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