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2015-02-23

E-commerce players set to open physical stores

This move will enable e-commerce players to reach out to people who do not have access to internet.

E-commerce firms like MakeMyTrip, CarTrade, FirstCry and Lenskart are all set to make presence in offline retail market by opening physical stores to entice more customers, as reported by PTI.

This move will enable e-commerce players to reach out to people who do not have access to internet.

As per the report, MakeMyTrip has opened 18 company-owned stores and baby & kids product portal Firstcry has opened more than 100 stores across the country.

"About 85 per cent market is going to remain offline even after five years, however hard we try to push e-commerce. Online shopping is convenient but it does not give that touch and feel experience, which customers in my segment would specially want," FirstCry CEO and Co-founder Supam Maheshwari told PTI.

"The firm, which has presence in more than 80 cities in India, is planning to add 100 more stores in the next one year. We give same prices both online and offline, so we can claim ourselves to be a true player in both spaces," added Maheshwari.

"We have both company-owned stores and franchisees, which are located in both metro and non-metro cities. The primary objective is to expand our business by reaching those who are miles away from the Internet through these stores," said MakeMyTrip CMO Soujanya Srivastava.

Speaking on the same, FabFurnish founder Vikarm Chopra said that setting up a brick-and-mortar store is more of brand building exercise. "Furniture is a segment which does not have a brand as such in our country. Though we started as an online store, which still remains our focus, we are also looking at physical stores as a brand building exercise and make it more visible to our customers," said Chopra.

FabFurnish at present has four stores in the country, two in Bangalore and one each in Gurgaon and Faridabad.
"Average footfall in our stores is around 50 per day, which cannot be compared to the number of visitors to our website. For us, these stores are just a way of reaching those people who want to meet us face-to-face," he added.

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