Viveat Susan Pinto, Financial Express
August 5, 2023
Two of the country’s best-known retailers, Nykaa and Reliance Retail, are now clashing head-on for a bigger share of the online beauty and personal care (BPC) market. Signs of this became apparent on Thursday, when Nykaa said that its CEO Falguni Nayar would “guide the marketing function directly” as part of its larger initiative to strengthen its marketing leadership and management.
The announcement, according to industry experts, came amid senior-level exits at the company and increasing competition from Reliance Retail’s Tira, which was launched in April this year as an online-cum-offline beauty destination.
Nykaa, which is estimated to have a share of 38% of the $1.3 billion (Rs 10,920 crore) online BPC market in India, says that it is evolving into a multi-dimensional business.
“Leadership roles are being augmented with an eye on strategic realignment, cost rationalisation and growing complexity of the business,” Nykaa said in a statement.
While Reliance Retail’s Tira is smaller in comparison to Nykaa, it is beginning to chip away at the heels of its bigger rival, industry sources said, within months of launch.
For instance, in four months since going live in April, the Tira app has over 1.7 million downloads and is eyeing a number of around 10 million in the next few months, persons in the know have told FE. It intends to do this on the back of aggressive tie-ups with local and international brands and positioning itself as an aspirational yet affordable beauty player. A mail sent to Reliance Retail elicited no response till the time of going to press.
The Nykaa beauty app has over 40 million downloads, but has been around longer than Tira, executives in the know said. Discounts on both platforms (Tira and Nykaa) range from 10-50% for various brands with BOGO (buy one get one) offers, virtual try-ons, blogs, tutorials, tips, recommendations and videos being part of the online experience. Tira also has a unique fragrance finder, which helps consumers match fragrances closest to their preferences.
“For beauty retailers, the game will increasingly be omnichannel,” says Devangshu Dutta, chief executive officer at Gurugram-based retail consultancy Third Eyesight. “While the consumer set is young for beauty brands, convenience and access, whether online or offline, is key for sustainable growth,” he says.
Nykaa has doubled its beauty store count from 72 outlets in FY21 to 145 stores in FY23, the company said in a recent investor call. Plans include adding another 50 outlets in FY24 and taking total store count to 150 stores, according to a report by brokerage firm JM Financial.
Reliance Retail also intends to expand its Tira footprint by setting up stores in suburbs such as Andheri in Mumbai besides BKC in Bandra and Infinity Mall in Malad, which are up and running. The Malad store, for instance, was launched just last week. Over the next few months, satellite cities such as Thane and locations such as Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad are likely to see Tira stores, informed sources said, with more outlets lined up in tier-I and II cities, including Delhi-NCR.
Reliance Retail is also laying special emphasis on the design of its Tira stores, with the flagship 4,300-sq ft outlet in Bandra Kurla Complex, for instance, put together by London-headquartered studio called Dalziel & Pow. The studio is best-known for its work for brands such as Marks & Spencer, Toyota, Volkswagen and Jaguar Land Rover and has designed the BKC Tira stores as a go-to destination for beauty shoppers.
(Published in Financial Express)