Bengaluru: Flipkart-owned fashion retailer Myntra has acquired omnichannel fashion marketplace Pretr Online Services Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount as part of its broader push towards establishing itself as a retailer across channels. In an interview, Myntra chief executive Ananth Narayanan confirmed that Myntra had bought Pretr. He declined to disclose terms of the deal.
“The one big investment that we’ve done, and which is paying off well is omnichannel. We just bought Pretr, which we are very excited about. When we bought it, they had already linked up with 30-40 brands for store inventory. We want to scale that this year to 100 brands. They will also link all of our stores," said Narayanan.
Pretr was founded in 2016 by technology executives Bhavik Jhaveri and Ankur Joshi. Pretr’s technology platform helps retailers with a bunch of services, including order management and store analytics.
Over the next few years, Myntra plans to double down on the omnichannel strategy and open 150 stores, as it looks to go beyond its pure-play online retailing platform. Of the 150 stores, Roadster will account for 50-60 stores, while Mango and Esprit will account for 50 more.
“We continue to see a trend, which is that online sales have gone up because of offline presence," said Narayanan.
Myntra plans to integrate Pretr’s technology with its own stores and simultaneously make it available to all brands on its platform, besides other retailers who have partnerships with Myntra. Myntra boasts of a vast array of top brands, such as Mango and Esprit, on its platform, besides owning more than a dozen private brands, including Roadster, HRX and Moda Rapido, which contribute a little less than one-third of Myntra’s overall business.
Myntra, along with Jabong and its parent Flipkart, dominates online fashion sales in India. Myntra is trying to preserve its premier positioning through a slew of initiatives, such as its brand accelerator programme, omnichannel investments and bets such as its Rapid technology platform.
Over the next year, Myntra plans to bring 50 top brands that it already works with on the omni-channel platform.
Mint had reported in July that brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Future Group, Shoppers Stop and Chai Point, as well as online platforms, including Myntra, Urban Ladder and Pepperfry, are all betting big on their omni-channel strategies.
“For now, (an omni-channel ecosystem in India) is still in talks. But I’m hoping we can lead the path on that. If we don’t do it, who else will? We have the scale, too. We have the ability to invest ahead of time, so we should obviously lead that," said Narayanan.
He said offline sales are “still growing at 7%-10% in the best case scenario, whereas on a much larger base, we’re growing at 50%-60%." “So the way we are thinking about it is how much will be omni-influenced sales, as opposed to omni sales," Narayanan added. “I think it’s the right strategy. In India, you have to figure out how to get the ecosystem to play. The biggest problem is store economics," said Narayanan.