The majorly unstructured and unbranded kids wear market provides an opportunity for brands to tap into the expansive market. As per the market forecast, the market is expected to grow by Rs 72K crore by 2021. The 5 per cent of the structured, organised retail in this category will see as much as 15 per cent growth in the coming years, with the online space already creating waves with domestic and international names.
The Retail Media interviewed Siddharth Bindra, MD, Biba, to talk on the brand’s online portal, its presence at various e-commerce websites and company’s plans to venture into the fast-growing kids wear market in the country.
Biba has launched an e-commerce portal. How do you see its mechanics changing your overall business?
It’ll complement the offline, physical stores. Biba, as a brand, wants to be accessible to the consumer. If the customer wants to buy online, we will have an offering that will be convenient to buy from. And for stores, we will always have stores which are nearer to the customer who wants to shop from there. Biba, as a brand, will be online and offline, wherever a consumer wants to shop from.
Where do you see it going?
I see it growing by leaps and bounds. I see online shopping to be 10 to 20 per cent of the brand in the next 2-3 years. Within Biba, I see online to be 10-15 per cent overall sales.
Which one is performing better, the physical or the online?
Obviously, the large part of the business is the offline, physical stores. I see online contributing around 10-15 per cent of our business over the next three years. So, it is still 15 per cent of the business.
Biba is majorly into the women wear category. How are you launching it in the kids wear category?
From this year we have really started marketing the kids wear line much more aggressively. You will see a lot of over the line branding that will be taking place, by way of online, offline, print, digital, etc. And to participate at the India Kids Fashion Week 2015 is also a step toward making that happen. As a brand, we are looking to spend around 25-30 crores over the next three-four years in the kids wear category.
Is kids wear a potential market in India?
I see it as a huge market, very underserved by brands. It is very unstructured, unbranded, but it is a very large market. But I think that’s an opportunity for brands. There are good kids wear brands that had good paces but some of them had financial problems, and that opened up a lot of space.
Talk to us about the target market. Are you going to go the Tier-II way too?
Actually for a brand like Biba, where we are making ethnic and kids wear, entire country is the market. Price wouldn’t be a problem since we believe we are affordable fashion. Our products are very well received. We are today in 65 cities. We have identified around a hundred cities where we hope to retail in the next two years. We have never faced any price constraints. I think one has to be affordable at a place like India, which is a price-sensitive market. So, one has to have affordable fashion. Biba falls within affordable fashion. Our target audience is the middle, upper-middle, the rich, because our brand appeals across the income portfolios. For lower-middle and middle class, ours is an aspirational brand; for upper-middle and rich, ours is a brand they are comfortable with.
What do you have to say about the trends in kids wear?
It is very fashion centric. The products within the fashion trend in this market, move very fast. The trends keep on changing season-on-season, so it is very updated on fashion and that is something we learnt a long time ago.
There are so many brands competing in the market today, how are you keeping Biba different?
Biba has always been a fashionable brand. We are ‘fashion at affordable prices’. So, as a company we have always focused on fashion and convenience of ease, of shopping to the consumer. So, we should always have a store accessible to the consumer and have products which suit their spending capacities.
Don’t you think e-commerce is a problem for stores today?
We are selling through all the e-commerce sites and have also created our own site. I think it is a huge additional business, a way of getting reached in 500-600 cities additionally, and also gives convenience of ease to our consumers. The industry is projecting very aggressive figures for 2020, and we are looking forward to achieve them. I think everything will co-exist.
Aside from your own e-portal, where all are Biba’s products available?
Jabong, Myntra, Amazon and Snapdeal. The business size on these sites is quite larger than my own portal at the moment, since I have just launched my website. I think all will co-exist in the coming future. Biba sells to its own products to a lot of offline stores as well like Pantaloons, similarly it sells to all these e-commerce sites as well. The only difference is that my own e-portal will have the entire range, some of these e-portals may not have the entire range. They will have smaller capsules of the entire range. Within the portals, they would come and select a particular range. From the ladies’ range perspective, they have larger ranges than kids wear. Kids’ is still not a major business on e-commerce. But, our site has it all.
Do you think kids fashion weeks serve as a great way to showcase your brand’s line?
I think it is a great platform to showcase brands.
Interviewed by Gargi Bhardwaj and Nitin Abbey.