Bestseller to add Selected to its brand portfolio in India


May 1, 2015

Varun Jain, The Economic Times
Delhi, 1 May 2015

Danish fashion company Bestseller will soon bring in its premium brand Selected to expand its India portfolio to four brands.

The privately held company, which owns around 15 brands, currently operates menswear brand Jack and Jones, and women’s brands Vero Moda and Only in the country.

"We have added one more brand, Selected, to our portfolio which we plan to launch in a couple of months," said Ranjan Sharma, chief information officer at Bestseller India.

The company will launch only the menswear collection under the Selected brand in the country to begin with. It will cater to a slightly premium category than Jack and Jones, Sharma said.

Bestseller, which runs 120 exclusive stores in India, will launch Selected on one of the online marketplaces initially before taking it to the brick-and-mortar format at a later stage, Sharma said.

One reason for the online-first strategy is that most Bestseller’s customers in the country are young people who are increasingly getting accustomed to online shopping. "Across all three brands, our customers will range from 18 years to 28 years and they are always online," Sharma said. "On ecommerce space we have grown from 1% to 10% in the course of one year," he said.

It is estimated that the Indian e-commerce industry is worth $3 billion, or about Rs 18,900 crore.

Sharma said the high discounting model followed in the ecommerce space is not sustainable. "Our brand is such that we would not want to discount our products. And when we sell online we try to keep a check on the discounts too," he said.

Devangshu Dutta, chief executive of retail consultancy firm Third Eyesight, said the online-first strategy will help the brand test the market better. He said that in the fashion space consumers are accustomed to huge discounts offered by many brands. "So for any new brand, which is launching in the market and have prices higher than the other brands, the online marketplace would present them an opportunity to test the markets better," he said.

Dutta said online marketplaces are now looking for exclusive tieups with brands to differentiate themselves from competition. "It will help reduce the price and discounting pressure on the e-tailer when the product is desirable and is not available anywhere else," he said.

(Published in The Economic Times.)